LAHORE: Pakistan’s emerging team head coach Ijaz Ahmed praised the performances of batsmen Rohail Nazir and Haider Ali and termed them key to the team’s triumph in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup.

Pakistan became the champions after beating Bangladesh by a comprehensive margin of 77 runs in Dhaka on Saturday and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.

“If you win a title by remaining unbeaten, that is winning like true champions and most importantly Pakistan earned victories despite losing the toss in all but one match,” Ijaz told Dawn.

He said it was his first assignment as head coach of the junior team and the victory made it a memorable experience.

Ijaz said the roles of captain Rohail and Haider were prominent, while other players also contributed significantly to make it possible.

Rohail, who was also declared as man-of-the-match for hitting a century in the final against Bangladesh, also received a a bat as a gift from Ijaz. Rohail was also declared as the player-of-the-tournament with scoring 302 runs in the tournament, while Haider piled up 218 runs.

Ijaz said the victory in the Emerging Teams Cup would help a lot to field a strong team at next year’s Under-19 World Cup as talented players could be selected from the lot.

On the turning pitches in Bangladesh, the bowlers also played vital role and the performance of Muhammad Hasnain, who claimed 13 wickets was also memorable, Ijaz said.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2019