Ajmal still has nightmares about final over to Hussey
Karachi: Pakistani off-spinnner Saeed Ajmal still has nightmares about the final over that he had bowled to Australian Mike Hussey in the semifinal of the just concluded Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies.
Saeed, a veteran of 14 years in Pakistan`s domestic circuit said, the final over, which saw Hussey taking his team to a stunning win, was the most painful of his life.
"When Hussey hit the last six I was absolutely heartbroken, I am still heartbroken. It was a very emotional and difficult time for me. My teammates all came up to me and consoled me and told me not to worry, but I was very upset. The pain is there, when you lose a game of this magnitude it hurts really badly," Saeed said in an interview to a news channel here from London.
Chasing a challenging 192 for victory, Australia needed 48 runs from the last 18 deliveries. Skipper Shahid Afridi threw the ball to the trusted Ajmal to bowl the final over of the match with the Australians still requiring 18 more runs.
Defending champions Pakistan looked all set to reserve a berth in the final for the third consecutive time, but Hussey had some different plans in his mind. He smashed Ajmal for three sixes and a four in the final over to take his side into final.
Saeed said he was totally wrecked by the final over and the support of his teammates has kept him going.
"All of the squad, from the players to the coaches to the backroom staff have said to me that I wasn`t to blame for the defeat and they have all said that we played as a unit, we won matches as a unit and we all take responsibility as a unit for the defeat. There is no question of anyone pointing the finger at any individuals," he said.
Saeed said he was not nervous about bowling the final over as he had been bowling the final overs earlier in the tournament against other top teams like England and South Africa.
"I had bowled at the death against South Africa a few days earlier and it had worked for the team. Our pre-match plan was for me to bowl the 18th and last over once again. I had no problems at all with Shahid (Afridi) giving me the same responsibility against Australia. I wanted the responsibility on my shoulders and I wanted to win the match for my country," he said.
The off-spinner said despite the let down in St Lucia, he would not hesitate if asked to bowl the final over again in a crunch situation.
"After all cricket is all about learning and keeping your nerves."