The encounter went down right to the wire and Pakistan squeezed past India in a cliffhanger, with Shahid Afridi playing a starring role, courtesy his twin sixes in the final over.
Pakistan needed 10 runs off 6 balls and R Ashwin was handed the ball by skipper Virat Kohli. Ashwin had been the pick of the bowlers throughout the innings and had just gotten the better of Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan's second-last batsman.
Shahid Afridi revealed how he had instructed Saeed Ajmal to not seek glory and get the former back on strike. However, the latter did exactly which was not asked of him.
“Saeed Ajmal was batting with me. I told him to put bat on ball and get a single. I told him not to go for the sweep shot but he ended up playing one and lost his wicket. Ashwin was bowling well, he was getting some purchase from the track too. Then Junaid Khan came in. I told him the same thing, just get a single. He somehow managed to get me back on strike,” Shahid Afridi narrated.
Shahid Afridi then touched upon how he tricked Ashwin into bowling carrom balls, rather than sticking to the orthodox off-breaks.
“What I did against Ashwin was to look towards the leg side. I wanted to trick him so that he thinks that I am going to hit on the leg side. The idea behind it was to force the off-spinner not to bowl his off-spin. And Ashwin did exactly that. He bowled the leg-spin. I hit it over the extra cover region for a six," the former all-rounder elaborated.
Shahid Afridi finished the game with two consecutive sixes
With that six, Pakistan came within touching distance of the target and required 3 runs off as many balls. However, Shahid Afridi, akin to his attacking tendencies, tried to finish the game off the very next delivery.
Though the all-rounder did not strike the ball as cleanly as he would have hoped, he got enough wood on it to send it over the fence and secure victory.
"The next delivery was a difficult one, I did not get it in the middle. I was in two minds, I was thinking will it go over the ropes or not. But in the end, the ball sailed over the fielder for a six. I breathed a sigh of relief," Shahid Afridi signed off.
The victory over India ensured that Pakistan made the final of the 2014 edition of the Asia Cup. Although the Men in Green lost out in the summit clash to Sri Lanka, that tournament would be remembered for Shahid Afridi's heroics against India.Published 10 Jul 2020, 15:03 IST