ISLAMABAD - Hero of Headingly Imad Wasim attributed his match-winning innings to the people of Pakistan saying it would have not been possible, if the entire nation’s prayers were not with Pakistan cricket team.

Talking to The Nation from England on Wednesday, Imad said: “I had simply one thing in my mind that was to play cool cricket and not to pay heed towards anything else. I was certain that we will win the match, as situation was under control. When Shadab got run out, I was relaxed, as I had full confidence and faith in Wahab Riaz’ abilities.

“Hats off to Wahab, who despite having tremendous pain and can’t hold the bat properly, assured me don’t worry, I will provide you full back up. His words were full of emotions and he lived up to his each and every word, he not only hit a highly crucial boundary but also a magnificent out of the park. Situation at that time was nerve-wrecking, but he remained cool and that what mattered for Pakistan cricket team, as each and every individual wants to contribute towards national cause,” he added.

Imad said: “Actually we should have improved our run-rate against New Zealand, but pitch was not so easy to bat at. People think we had lot of wickets in hands and Babar and Haris were both set and should have finished the match at least 5 overs earlier, but only we know the actual reality. Both played sensibly as first task of ensuring victory was achieved, while against Afghanistan, we didn’t had things in our hands.

We wanted to win the match 10 overs earlier, but Afghan spinners were at their supreme best while pitch was assisting them and we were losing wickets at regular intervals. When I went to bat, I knew I had to negotiate Afghan spinners and not to try to play wrong shot. Shadab first and then Wahab gave me full backing, which helped a lot and I was very confident about my team’s victory.

The run-rate was creeping and Afghans were dominating, but we were determined to win. When Afghan skipper was bowling final over and we required run a ball on last 6 deliveries, I planned to take two runs and try to keep strike. When we required 2 of three balls, I played a simple shot. It was in the middle of the bat and ball just rolled past the boundary.

“I am thankful to team management, captain, coach and especially Wahab for keeping faith in me and my abilities. Those, who just try to create rifts in the team, will never succeed. We never play for personal ambitions, rather we care about the country and want always to give smiles to our people, as their never-ending faith, prayers and love always motive and drive us to deliver,” he asserted.

He said: “Now we have to play for a place in the semi-final and we know we have just one option to go all-out attacking. We will to bowl out Bangladeshis as early as possible if they bat first and try to achieve the target very quickly. If we bat first, we will try to score a big total and try to bowl Bangladesh out on a very low total.

“We have no other option but to play for massive and comprehensive victory. We will not care that whether we lose or win, but we will play for commanding victory, so that we may sail into semi-finals without depending or caring about others results. I request Pakistani people to keep on praying for our success and we will try to live up to their exceptions,” Imad concluded.