LAHORE: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that the selectors finally made the right call in the third T20I against England and the result is there for everyone to see. His remark came as Pakistan defeated England in the third and final T20I to level the three-match series.
In the third T20I, Haider Ali, Wahab Riaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed were included the playing XI. "I have been repeatedly vouching for youngsters, Haider Ali was finally given a chance and see how he capitalised on the opportunity. I hope finally Pakistan has learnt a lesson," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
"The youngster scored a half-century on his debut T20I and it was fantastic to see, the selection calls won us the final T20I against England," he added.
Akhtar said that Mohammad Hafeez has shown the importance of experience, but he also raised some alarm bells for Shoaib Malik. Malik did not get a chance to bat in the final T20I, while he scored just 14 runs in the second match.
"Hafeez has been performing well, but there are questions over the selection of Shoaib Malik. The team should look to play him higher in the batting order and he should be bowling some overs as well," Akhtar said.
Haider Ali registered a half-century in his very first T20I for Pakistan. With this, he became the first Pakistan batsman to make a half-century on his T20I debut. Haider Ali and Mohammad Hafeez put on 100 runs for the third wicket and this stand gave Pakistan much-needed momentum in the innings. Hafeez played an unbeaten knock of 86 runs as Pakistan posted a total of 190/4 in the allotted twenty overs.
Wahab Riaz and Shaheen Shah Afridi took two wickets each as Pakistan defended the total and won by five runs. The first T20I between both sides was abandoned due to rain, while the second match was won by England.