Three Pakistani youngsters to make debut in the T20 international today
DUBAI – Pakistan have named a dynamic playing XI as first game of the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium tonight.
The match will start at 9pm Pakistan Standard Time.
Opener Saim Ayub, middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir and right-arm quicks Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah will make Pakistan debuts. Top-order batter Abdullah Shafique, all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim, and Azam Khan mark their returns to the Pakistan side.
These eight players were named in the 15-member squad for this T20I series after a string of impressive performances in the domestic circuit and the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League 8. The series comes with an opportunity for these players to carry their form in international cricket.
Karachi-born 20-year-old Saim will open with Mohammad Haris, who has played five T20Is for Pakistan and announced his arrival in the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia with his blazing strokeplay and bold intent, and has batted with him in Peshawar Zalmi during the PSL 8. Saim comes into the side after a highly impressive run for Sindh and Peshawar Zalmi.
The left-hander played an integral role in crowning Sindh the National T20 champions as he made 416 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 155.22. He smashed 341 runs – that included five half-centuries, the joint-most in the season with Babar Azam – at a strike rate of 165.53 for Peshawar Zalmi in this PSL at the top of the order.
Pakistan XI for first Afghanistan T20I: Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Abdullah Shafique, Tayyab Tahir, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah
Probable Afghanistan Squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Malik, Naveen ul Haq and Rashid Khan (c)