Sharjah: Veteran Mohammad Sami has shown the way to other Pakistan Super Leagues (PSL) team captains on how to lift a team’s morale despite defeats.
At a time when defending champions Islamabad was being written off as no-hopers in this edition following their two defeats, Sami, who turns 38 on Sunday today has boosted the hopes of the team through a deadly hat-trick in the last over of the match to sink Peshawar Zalmi by 12 runs at the Sharjah Stadium on Friday night.
The fact that he took up the challenge of bowling the last over at this age shows that he believes that age is just a number and that he can still bring his best to wreck batting line-ups. Through this spell, he has become the only bowler who has produced a hat-trick in all three formats of the game.
When asked about the number of hat-tricks he has produced in his career, Sami said: “I have so far had seven hat-tricks and I am happy that this helped my team win.”
Though Sami is short and is not well built like most pacers, he can generate tremendous pace and can land deadly yorkers and move the ball.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan once addressed Sami as modern Malcolm Marshall (as the late West Indies pacer was also short). His express deliveries had even won him the sobriquet ‘Bullet’.
Sami preferred to speak more about his team than his bowling, especially after his team has staged a comeback after two defeats. “It was a pressure game and my winning the Man of the Match just happened. We knew that Kieron Pollard (who hit a quick 51) has the power to hit hard so we knew that if he continued, it would be difficult but once we got his wicket we tightened our grip.”
Sami then went on to praise his team’s fielding. “All credit to my players who fielded very well. It was a team effort that we won the match and I am satisfied with everyone’s role,” he added.
Sami is also happy with the effort of his team’s 18-year-old Mohammad Musa, who also took three wickets for 25 runs. “Everyone contributed. I am proud of the youngster Musa, who bowled with great pace and passion.”
Peshawar skipper Darren Sammy sportingly accepted the defeat: “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose. But look at the boys ... they fought till the final over and in the end we were 12 runs short.”
Assuring that his team will bounce back quickly, Sammy said: “When we lose three wickets in power-play, then it is difficult to chase. We did well to fight and take the match to the wire. That is cricket, sometimes we try to hit sixes and it happens and sometimes, it doesn’t. We will bounce back in next match (against Multan Sultans today (Sunday).”