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Game is never over when Iftikhar is at the crease: Will Young

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KARACHI: New Zealand opener Will Young heaped praises on hard-hitting Pakistan batter Iftikhar Ahmed for his courageous knocks against the Blackcaps during the recently concluded white-ball series between the two sides. 

Pakistan’s lone warrior in the final ODI on Sunday, Iftikhar, smashed an unbeaten 94 from 72 balls to keep the opposition on their toes despite the top-order collapse. His heroic knock eventually went in vain as Pakistan were all-out for 252 while chasing 300.

Earlier in the T20I series, he also played a similar knock when he thrashed a blistering 60 in just 24 balls in the third game in Lahore but could not sail his side to the finish line.

The grit shown by Iftikhar did not go unnoticed as the Kiwi player Young spoke highly of his knock, claiming he was distressed after dropping the former on 60.

“He is an amazing player. I can recall a couple of knocks when he almost won the game singlehandedly” said Young in the post-match press conference.

“I think the game is never over when Ifitkhar is at the crease. And when I dropped him on 60 at point, my heart was pumping”

Young, who starred with a brilliant 87-run knock, said he was happy with the team’s victory and the way he played in the final ODI.

“We were able to take wickets today which we were not able to do in the previous game and managed to put pressure on the opposition,” he added

Commenting on the importance of the Pakistan tour before the World Cup – scheduled later this year in India – he said, “Playing in the subcontinent condition will help us a lot preparing for the mega event”.

Furthermore, the right-hander also hailed the local crowd for their support and lauded Pakistan for its great hospitality.

“They were obviously home fans but they were nice and friendly to us as well. And the way we were treated in hotel rooms at various hotels was outstanding,” he said.

“Hospitality was great,” he remarked.

New Zealand concluded their second tour of Pakistan this year on Sunday with a consolation 47-run win in the final ODI at National Bank Cricket Cricket to avoid the 5-0 series whitewash.

The tour commenced on April 24 with a five-game T20I series in Lahore and Rawalpindi. Despite falling behind 2-0 after the first two games, the visitors managed to tie the series at 2-2.

READ: No fissure in the team, claims Babar after Imam’s cryptic tweet

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