Daniel Christian
Daniel Christian Image Credit: Twitter@thePSLt20

Dubai: Daniel Christian has been proving that he is still good enough to be considered for Australia in limited-over international matches. He has carried the form he displayed in the Big Bash League (BBL) to the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Through a fine all-round show for Multan Sultans, he ensured a six-wicket win against Islamabad United and bagged the man of the match on Tuesday night at the Dubai International Stadium in the 16th match of the PSL.

Christian was the star of the BBL final this month as he guided the Renegades through another masterclass with bat and ball. Against Islamabad he took three wickets for 19 runs and remained unbeaten with 16 runs. Christian, 35, hasn’t been considered for Australia since October 2017 despite T20 franchises around the world always chasing his signature.

When asked about his spell against Islamabad, Christian said: “It was a fantastic all-round performance by everyone, those three wickets upfront really early put them on the back foot and then we were able to close the game after that.”

When Christian was asked about how he has been successful as a strike bowler in T20 leagues, he said: “It’s about bowling as many good balls as you can and try and build pressure that way. If you can do that early it is even better. I feel my cricket is going fine and it’s nice to get some wickets today.”

Christian is an useful batsman too down the order and he loves that challenge. “It’s something I have done for a long time and got used to it,” he said. “Coming into bat at such situations I have done a fair bit so I think I can do with some bit of confidence and not get too nervous.”

Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan acknowledged that Christian’s early wickets had pushed his team into defeat. “If you lose two to three wickets early in T20 it is difficult to come back,” he said. “We created some partnerships but we lost wickets again. Each one has been given a role and expected to perform in that role but it did not happen this time so maybe we will do it in the next match.”

Multan captain Shoaib Malek too attributed his team’s second victory in six matches to his bowlers’s performance. “It was a good bowling show from us. We have quality bowlers. We have high expectations of Mohammad Irfan but some games you get hit and that is the time one has to back our bowlers and I feel today all our bowlers bowled so well.”

Malek feels that many bowlers have been impressive and that talented bowlers should be groomed. “Bowlers who have been impressive should be considered to play longer,” he said. “The learning process should never end for them. They should learn how to handle tough situation and have a brave heart. If your thinking is not right then it will be tough for them to handle the pressure. All the teams have big names in their dressing room and hope they all guide them too. Language is a barrier but we should all try to reduce that barrier because at the end of the day our cricketers should learn and Pakistan cricket should get better.”

Brief scores

Multan Sultans bt Islamabad United by six wkts
Islamabad United 121 all out (17.4 overs): Ronchi 32, Patel 20, Asif 22; Nauman 2-14, Christian 3-19
Multan Sultans 122-4 (18.1 overs): Vince 28, Siddiq 46, Malek 23n.o