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Afridi indicates he would retire after World Twenty20

Afridi

Mohali: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi today gave clear indications that he would retire from the shortest format after his team’s campaign ends in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20.

After suffering a 22-run defeat to New Zealand in a crucial World T20 match for the team, a dejected Afridi said the upcoming game against Australia could be his last.

“That (the match against Australia) could be my last,” Afridi said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The PCB had yesterday said that the board had reached an understanding with Afridi that he will retire after the tournament.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said 180 was a good total to defend.

“It’s nice to play on a really good surface, the batting unit played their roles really nicely and the bowlers pulled it back nicely after a tough start. Slightly above par, 180 wicket on any wicket can be a touch chase,” Williamson said.

New Zealand cruised into the semifinals with an easy win over Pakistan after opener Martin Guptill set the tone with a scintillating 48-ball 80 here today, continuing their dream run in the mega event.

Williamson said, “They (Pakistan) certainly played well in the first 6. We played on a couple of wickets that spun viciously but the spinners adapted here. Good bunch of lads, nice we are playing well and our strengths have been playing some smart cricket.”

Disappointment was writ large on Afridi’s face even as he congratulated New Zealand.

“The bowlers bowled well in the middle, we played well in the first 6 but after that we didn’t. Easily we could have scored more than 6 but we didn’t.

“We tried to hit the ball, tried to go for the boundary and we played a lot of dot balls. We still keep repeating the same mistakes, every game we are making the mistakes. We have to forget this game and focus on Australia,” Afridi said.

Man of the Match Guptill said adopting aggressive approach worked in their favour.

“A bit of tightness in the hamstring (reason for being off the field). We found early that the wicket was good than what we have been playing on. Wanted to be aggressive and it paid off for us.

Got to keep playing the same way, we got enough power in our batting line-up to keep going. The new ball came on a bit more, hopefully we can keep it going,” Guptill said.

PTI

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