Harare - Eighteen-year-old Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was instrumental in Men in Green’s victory against Australia on Thursday in Harare, picking up three wickets for 37 runs.

Shaheen bagged the important wickets of Aussie openers Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short along with Glenn Maxwell. Speaking about his bowling performance during the match, Shaheen said that he was planning beforehand to get their wickets and was happy to see that his plans worked effectively. “Since yesterday I was planning to get the wickets of those two players [Finch and Maxwell] which is why I glad it worked out perfectly,” he said.

Sarfraz was vocal in his criticism towards the bowlers after the end of the previous match against Zimbabwe but he was pleased with the efforts of the bowlers today, according to Shaheen. “Sarfraz was happy with our bowling today,” he said. “He is the captain of the side so sometimes he can be unhappy.”

In order to acclimatise to the conditions, Shaheen and other Pakistan bowlers began warming up even before their batting innings had concluded. “This was by far the coldest conditions I have played in,” he said. “We started warming up earlier than usual before our bowling in order to cope with the atmosphere.”

Shedding light on why fast bowler Hasan Ali was sidelined for the match, Shaheen said: “I think he [Hasan] was rested today, but we will see what happens in the next game,” Talking about the final against Australia, Shaheen said that the team’s focus will be only on Finch once again because he is in good form and is scoring a lot of runs. “We will follow whatever plan is given to us by our team management and captain,” he said. “Finch is their main batsman and has been scoring a lot of runs so our focus will be on him once again.”

Shaheen also feels that playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has helped him make a smooth start to his international career. “After PSL, I don’t feel any pressure going into an international game and it aids in calming my nerves,” he said. Apart from the current match, Shaheen was also asked about how he felt after dismissing Karachi Kings’ Shahid Afridi in the third edition of PSL while playing for Lahore Qalandars. “I was pleased to pick up his wicket during a PSL match as he is such a big star in international cricket,” he said. “I was hit for a six before on the ball before I dismissed him, which made the moment more special. Although we hail from the same community, but we are not direct relatives,” he added.