Fazal Farooqi 2.0 propels Afghanistan into Super 8s

By Real11 - Jun 14 2024 117 Views

Fazalhaq Farooqi Shines as Afghanistan Advance to Super 8s

Fazalhaq Farooqi, the 23-year-old Afghan pace sensation, has been the driving force behind his team's dreamy start to the World T20 League. Despite spending the entirety of Ind T20 League 2024 on the Hyderabad bench, Farooqi has returned to the international stage with a vengeance, leading Afghanistan's bowling attack with distinction.

Through the first three matches of the tournament, Farooqi has amassed a chart-topping 12 wickets at an average of just 3.50 and an exceptional economy rate of 3.70. His ability to strike early with the new ball has been a key factor in Afghanistan's progression from the tricky Group C, at the expense of traditional powerhouse New Zealand.

Seven of Farooqi's 12 wickets have come in the all-important PowerPlay overs, more than any other bowler in the competition so far. His most telling performance came against the Kiwis, when he bowled Finn Allen with a deadly inswinger off the very first ball, before removing Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell in quick succession to set the tone for Afghanistan's victory.

Farooqi credited his time on the Ind T20 League sidelines as instrumental in honing his skills, particularly in the art of swing bowling. "I was just thinking to improve my skill to do something different from the others... I was going to learn to bowl swing and that now for me is simple," he said.

The young pacer has also benefitted greatly from the guidance of Afghanistan's bowling consultant, West Indies legend Dwayne Bravo. The pair have worked closely, with Bravo sharing his wealth of experience in navigating the pressure-laden death overs, while also offering valuable advice on Farooqi's new-ball plans.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan has been full of praise for Farooqi, highlighting the pacer's ability to provide a different dimension to a traditionally spin-heavy attack. "Someone like Fazal, who is coming in and attacking each and every ball, allows us to have a strong base as a bowling unit," Rashid noted.

Sterner tests await Afghanistan and Farooqi, as they gear up to face the co-hosts West Indies in their final group game, before the high-stakes Super 8 stage. However, the team's recent success at the 2023 World ODI League, where they came close to the semifinals, has instilled a newfound confidence that they can compete with the best in the business.

"Now everyone has belief in our skills," Farooqi said. "This is the first time we just qualify for the Super 8 and we are so happy. Back home, everyone are happy and proud of us."

As Afghanistan's dream run continues, the spotlight will firmly be on Fazalhaq Farooqi to lead the charge with his exceptional new-ball exploits, showcasing the talent that has been simmering beneath the surface.

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