Pakistan triumphed in their must-win World Cup game against New Zealand at the back of a wonderful new-ball spell from the 19-year-old Shaheen Shah Afridi. Finding great nip and swing right at the start of the innings, Shaheen was able to draw the edges of the Kiwi batsmen routinely as his fantastic spell of bowling rocked their top order.
While the rookie player had been off color in the past few games, he looked an altogether different bowler this time around, nagging the batsmen with efficient lines. Preceding the match, legendary fast pacer Wasim Akram had a chat with Shaheen, the contents of which were revealed by the ‘Sultan of Swing’ later.
“I told them to focus on the length they're bowling & field-set for Williamson, told Shaheen to bowl fuller than he has been bowling. At this level small adjustments make all the difference,” Wasim had advised the youngster. These valuable words certainly brought about a positive change in the performance of Shaheen who looked the top bowler among both sides in the contest at Birmingham.