Shaheen Shah Afridi warned that he still did not return to his fearsome best even after he led Pakistan into the 1920s. Globalism Cup semi-finals with numbers 4-22 against Bangladesh on Sunday.
The left-handed fast bowler shook the batsmen with a swing and a stitch in Adelaide to limit Bangladesh to 127-8 as Pakistan won the deathmatch by five wickets.
The 22-year-old missed the last Asian Cup with a knee injury and is still on track to return to full fitness after being sidelined for three months.
“It is not easy to come back from an injury like this,” Shaheen said.
“I can only give 100 per cent on the field, and I’m trying. This injury took time, I think I came back early because it’s the World Cup and the team needs me.”
Shaheen fought for a wicket early in the tournament as Pakistan suffered losses India Then Zimbabwe is in the second group.
But he appears to have found rhythm in the victory over the Netherlands and came alone with a 3-14 victory over South Africa, a victory that rekindled their campaign.
Pakistan’s last match in the Super 12 turned into a virtual quarter-final after the Netherlands stunned South Africa in the previous match.
Shaheen rose to the challenge after Bangladesh elected the bat first and returned Leighton Das for 10 for third place.
It was his double goal in the 17th minute that broke Bangladesh’s back and earned another one to carry four wickets for the first time in the international T20.
“I don’t play at 150 km per hour like goalkeeper (Raouf),” Shaheen said.
“Even before I threw the ball at 135-140 km/h. (Earlier) I felt tight while preparing but now I feel a lot better.
“Staying in the room for two to three months with an injury that affects your brain.”
“I thought I would come back and my efforts would pay off,” he added.
The best of the tournaments was not for batsman and captain Babar Azam, who made 25 efforts from 33 balls after scores of 0, four, four and six.
But Shaheen praised the return of the team and the captain for his support.
“The credit goes to the whole team. We played cricket well. The matches we lost were decided by the last ball, but still, we played cricket well,” Shaheen said.
“We didn’t get results but a good team never falls after a loss.
“The captain plays a big role in lifting the team and supporting us. We support each other and as a result we won here.”