‘Even if it’s a wide, stick to the plan’: Pakistan debutant Aamir Jamal reveals the conversation with Babar Azam ahead of his heroic final over vs Moeen Ali

26-year-old Aamir Jamal had a T20I debut to remember as he conceded only eight runs with 15 needed to win and guided Pakistan to a 3-2 lead in the seven match T20I series vs England.

Speaking in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) video afterwards , the debutant, who finished with figures of 1/13, revealed his chat with captain Babar Azam ahead of the final over and the plan they opted to go with.

“He (Babar) told me that we’ll only go with one plan and you’ll decide that,” Jamal said. ” I told him, ‘wide yorker’ to which he asked me if I’d be able to pull it off and I responded by saying, ‘Definitely’. He further told me even if it’s a wide, stick to the plan. And I sticked to it.”

Not many debutants would have wanted to be in Jamal’s shoes given the importance of the result in a long series and the match which was evenly poised when the 26-year-old was handed the ball. But Jamal insisted once he had bowled the first delivery, the nerves weren’t jangling.

“The pressure was on the first ball. Once the first ball was delivered, there was no pressure. The wide (on the third delivery) was because of the dew that had made it difficult to grip the ball. The six (on the next delivery) was also definitely because of the ball slipping out of my hands, I couldn’t grip it. Despite that Bobby bhaiya (Babar) came to me and said, ‘No worries, you’ll do it (finish the match). Only you can. You’ve bowled the last two-three deliveries, so you’ll bowl the next ones as well’. That gave me confidence and I saw the over through.”

Jamal mentioned later that he had premeditated his line of action during the 19th over.

“When I was watching the second last over, in which Haris (Rauf) was also hit for a six and another boundary came off it, I was planning on what I needed to do to ensure my team’s win. First, I kept my nerves under control, because at this stage (in the match) when Haris, who’s experienced than me, got hit for a boundary then I realised I needed to do it. I definitely stepped up and told me myself whatever happens I’ll give my heart out and executed the plan.”

Pakistan’s 20th over hero was also applauded by England captain Moeen Ali post match, who faced Jamal in the decisive moment of the match.

“It was a very good last over and you can’t take anything away from him,” he said. “I was just hoping he missed the wide yorker….like the one I got hold of (and hit for six on the third delivery of the final over). With the wet ball and the ball probably being out of shape and him on his debut and nervous….he bowled really well and sometimes you have just got to give it to him.”

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