Cricket

Wahab Riaz — giving it his all

Fighting through pain: Wahab Riaz comes up with a six at a very crucial stage in Pakistan’s innings.

Fighting through pain: Wahab Riaz comes up with a six at a very crucial stage in Pakistan’s innings.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Played the game-changer despite a fractured finger.

As Pakistan players prepared for their crucial World Cup fixture against Afghanistan on Friday, Wahab Riaz suffered a fracture on his right little finger.

Determined to feature in the must-win match, the 34-year-old played a key role in Pakistan’s nervy win at Headingley on Saturday.

With he and Imad Wasim holding the fort, Pakistan — which suffered a middle-order collapse — stayed on course for a semifinal spot. After scalping two wickets, he chipped in with a game-changing knock of 15 not out

After the edge-of-the-seat thriller, Riaz spoke to the media in the mixed media zone.

Update on the injury: A (slight) fracture. But, I have been bowling in the nets and could bowl against Afghanistan, so I am confident of playing the remaining games.

The motivation: It’s all about will power. I am here to give whatever my team requires.

I told the captain (Sarfaraz Ahmed) that I would give 100 per cent in bowling, but might come up short in other departments. ‘If you can bowl, that’s enough’ was his reply. That was a big boost and I was ready for the game.

The game-changing six…: (Laughs) I had to give all I could. I was in pain, but my country needed me.

So, I could bear the pain. You have to always put your country first and play for everything.

The talk in the dressing room: There is always pressure. But, we felt we could pull it off.

The players’ confidence is very high. As I walked out to bat, Sarfaraz told me “we can do it.” And, so we did!

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:30:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/wahab-riaz-giving-it-his-all/article28236088.ece

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