Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose incisive new-ball spell turned out to be a game-changer, said that he had worked hard on bringing the ball back into the right-handers, which paid rich dividends against India in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener.

Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets to win their first game against the arch-rivals, with pacer Afridi claiming 3/31 to set the tone for the win. His wickets included the big ones of vice-captain Rohit Sharma, opener KL Rahul, and skipper Virat Kohli at the death.

The Player of the Match bowled superb deliveries to openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, which gave Pakistan the edge right at the start.

“It is the good wishes of my parents and all Pakistanis. Very happy with my performance. The plan was to bring the ball back in. I was just trying to swing it and I was just looking to give the team a breakthrough,’ Shaheen said at the post-match presentation.

He said that before the game, he had worked on that skill at the nets.

“That was what I practiced in the nets as well yesterday. Batting against the new ball was tough.”

He also gave a lot of credit to Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan for the manner in which they batted.

“The credit goes to Babar and Rizwan for the way they played. All teams are good in the tournament and we will look to carry this momentum through and go to the finals,” Shaheen added.

With PTI Inputs