Islamabad: Pakistan’s stunning loss to Australia in the semi-final of the ICC World T20 Championship at the Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia has left off-spinner Saeed Ajmal ‘heartbroken’.
Chasing a challenging 192 for victory, Australia needed 48 runs from the last 18 deliveries.
Skipper Shahid Afridi threw the ball to the trusted Ajmal to bowl the final over of the match with the Kangaroos still needing 18 more runs.
Pakistan looked all set to reserve a berth in the final of the T20 World Championship for the third consecutive time. But Mike Hussey had some other ideas. He smashed Ajmal for three sixes and a four in the final over to register a breathtaking win over the defending champions.
Hussey’s merciless hitting is still playing on Ajmal’s mind, as he has still not been able to cope with the heavy defeat.
“When Hussey hit the last six I was absolutely heartbroken, I am still heartbroken. It was a very emotional and difficult time for me. My teammates all came up to me and consoled me and told me not to worry, but I was very upset. The pain is there, when you lose a game of this magnitude it hurts really badly,” Ajmal told PakPassion.net.
Ajmal, who boasts an economy rate of only 6.24 in the slam bang version of the game, said that it was pre-planned that he would be bowling the final over of the match and that he had his own game plan ready.
“The first delivery was perfect, it was what I had planned, it was a perfect yorker to Johnson and it only went for a single. However then the wind seemed to pick up and I was bowling into the wind which made me lose my line and length,” he said.
Ajmal, however, did not deny Hussey the credit for his stupendous show in the all important tie.
“It was an amazing innings, you have to give Hussey a lot of credit for playing that sort of innings in such an important match at such a crucial time,” he said.
Now that the tournament is over, Ajmal says he is already looking at doing better in the upcoming tournaments.
“The best way for me to get over this match is to start playing cricket again, get the ball in my hand and to start bowling again. Thankfully the Asia Cup is not far away and I am looking forward to playing in that tournament in Sri Lanka. I have faith in my ability and I am confident that I can bounce back after the match in St Lucia,” he said.
But the question is would Ajmal bowl the final in a crunch match again?
“Of course I would,” is his answer.