Dashing Azam takes inspiration from dad Moin for his cricket

February 22, 2020

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AZAM Khan of Quetta Gladiators plays a lofted shot during their PSL match against Islamabad United on Thursday night.—White Star
AZAM Khan of Quetta Gladiators plays a lofted shot during their PSL match against Islamabad United on Thursday night.—White Star

KARACHI: Young Azam Khan had every reason to smile late on Thursday night at the start of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 after his stunning innings propelled reigning champions Quetta Gladiators to a tantalizing victory against Islamabad United.

Constantly under media spotlight and harried at times for allegedly being given preferential treatment as son of Quetta head coach Moin Khan, the 21-year-old right-hander chose the perfect route to silence his detractors as he counterattacked with gusto and a touch of arrogance On the field of play, Azam comes across as someone looking overweight. The outfield at the National Stadium seemed small as the white ball was repeatedly thrashed with awesome power. Coming to bat with the holders in tatters at 26-3, young Azam escaped being dismissed early on but never flinched.

While Azam’s driving down the ground certainly caught the eye, his innings of 59 from only 33 balls definitely helped change the perception about his selection in the Quetta side since he often mentioned in the ranks as someone being aided by nepotism.

“I thing to make clear to everyone that in the team dugout, my father always see me in the same way as all the other players. And if there is need of hard talk with me, he doesn’t hold back,” Azam told Dawn. “This is where the mental strength is required to soak the pressure and then proof that you are good enough to be playing at any level [of competition].

“When I started taking up cricket, I naturally saw my father as a role model [Azam also keeps wickets like Moin used to be during his era]. But I never needed either my father or his influence to get to this far. And this is what I want to achieve in my life because the satisfaction one derives by seeking the goals through your own efforts is just awesome.”

Azam observed sharing the dressing-room with overseas stars and the legendary West Indies batsman of yesteryear Sir Vivian Richards has been the highlight of his young career.

“There is no doubt it. I consider myself very fortunate in this respect because I’m going through the most memorable phase of cricketing career.

The atmosphere in our dugout is just amazing and the way Sir Vivian motivates us is magical,” the youngster said of Richards, who will join the squad by Saturday after visa issues delayed his arrival in Karachi.

Scoreboard

ISLAMABAD UNITED

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

C. Munro c and b Nawaz 0 1 0 0 0.00

L. Ronchi c Shehzad b Sohail 23 13 4 1 176.92

D.J. Malan c Roy b Cutting 64 40 5 3 160.00

Hussain Talat c Shehzad b Hasnain 19 22 1 0 86.36

C.A. Ingram c Nasir b Cutting 6 6 1 0 100.00

Asif Ali c Nasir b Hasnain 19 13 2 0 146.15

Shadab Khan b Cutting 8 7 0 0 114.28

Faheem Ashraf c Roy b Hasnain 20 8 4 0 250.00

Amad Butt lbw b Sohail 0 1 0 0 0.00

M. Musa Khan c Sarfraz b Hasnain 0 3 0 0 0.00

Akif Javed not out 0 2 0 0 0.00

EXTRAS (LB-5, W-3, NB-1) 9 - - - -

TOTAL (all out, 19.1 overs) 168 - - - -

FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Munro, 0.1 ov), 2-38 (Ronchi, 3.5 ov), 3-106 (Hussain, 11.1 ov), 4-115 (Ingram, 12.4 ov), 5-127 (Malan, 14.5 ov), 6-141 (Asif, 16.1 ov), 7-163 (Shadab, 17.6 ov), 8-167 (Faheem, 18.2 ov), 9-167 (Musa, 18.5 ov), 10-168 (Amad, 19.1 ov).

BOWLING: Mohammad Nawaz 2-0-17-1 (1w; Sohail Khan 2.1-0-21-2 (1w); Mohammad Hasnain 4-0-25-4 (1nb, 1w); Cutting 4-0-31-3; Abdul Nasir 3-0-26-0; Fawad Ahmed 4-0-43-0.

QUETTA GLADIATORS

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

J.J. Roy lbw b Musa 0 2 0 0 0.00

S.R. Watson run out 15 12 2 1 125.00

Ahmed Shehzad c Faheem b Musa 7 11 1 0 63.63

Sarfraz Ahmed lbw b Amad 21 18 2 0 116.66

Azam Khan b Faheem 59 33 5 3 178.78

M. Nawaz c Amad b Akif 23 13 4 0 209.09

B.C.J. Cutting not out 22 12 1 2 183.33

Sohail Khan c Shadab b Musa 14 9 1 1 155.55

Abdul Nasir not out 1 2 0 0 50.00

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-2, W-2, NB-1) 9 - - - -

TOTAL (for seven wkts, 18.3 overs) 171 - - - -

FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Roy, 0.2 ov), 2-20 (Watson, 3.4 ov), 3-26 (Shehzad, 4.4 ov), 4-88 (Sarfraz, 11.2 ov), 5-128 (Azam, 14.2 ov), 6-130 (Nawaz, 15.2 ov), 7-163 (Sohail, 17.5 ov).

DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed.

BOWLING: Mohammad Musa Khan 4-1-30-3 (1nb); Akif Javed 4-0-21-1; Faheem Ashraf 3-0-18-1 (1w); Shadab Khan 3.3-0-46-0; Amad Butt 4-0-50-1 (1w).

RESULT: Quetta Gladiators won by three wickets.

UMPIRES: Faisal Afridi (Pakistan) and R.K. Illingworth (England).

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob (Pakistan).

MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Mahanama (Sri Lanka).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Mohammad Hasnain (Quetta Gladiators).

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020