Yasir Shah First Impressions: He was exceptional as a fielder. He held on to some stunners covering a great deal of ground. He was confident and reliable. As a bowler he was largely ineffective. The newcomer went at approximately 10 RPO during his first Twenty20 series. Even though he claimed a couple of top order scalps in his maiden appearance both of them were caught in the deep and were mainly due to poor execution or brilliant fielding as opposed to brilliance from him. I watched him closely and did not see a single ball beat the bat. He didn’t seem to have much control and variation from the 14 overs we got to see overall which is key to successful leggies in the modern era. He scored 11* from 7 in his first knock and comes across as a handy lower order batsman which his domestic record ably backs up. It should be interesting to see if he is still part of the plans for the forthcoming Sri Lankan series.
The stand out performers on this tour was Younis Khan, Aizaz Cheema (17 scalps in his first 5 appearances for his country after a long wait on the side lines), but above all Mohammad Hafeez who continued his brilliant year as a considerably improved operator. The skipper also did well averaging 83 in the ODI series at a healthy strike rate and was regularly involved in the field with several catches and run outs including some sheer stunners. He shows no sign of age and looked as fit as a 21 year old youngster. Adnan Akmal batted well with 3 solid knocks including 2 unbeaten stays and the other time was run out. Shoaib Malik was an epic disappointment. Shafiq was steady and classy in the opportunities he got.