Munro surprised by Azam’s exclusion from Pakistan team

KARACHI: Experienced New Zealand cricketer Colin Munro praised his Islamabad United teammate Azam Khan after the latter’s 28-ball 44-run knock in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) match against Karachi Kings on Thursday.

Azam stroked six shots to the fence and smashed the ball over the boundary once before being caught by Haider Ali off Musa Khan while trying hit another one out of the park.

When asked to comment on Azam’s innings, Munro, who also scored 58 off 28, said that he was surprised that Azam is not playing for Pakistan.

“Amazing,” said the New Zealander while commenting on Azam’s batting.

“I don’t know why he’s not in the Pakistan team. I was just talking to a couple of other overseas boys. A lot has been spoken about his weight but, my goodness, if he’s one of the best batters in the country, why not get him in there,” he said.

It must be noted that the 24-year-old Azam has played three T20Is for Pakistan, so far.

Munro and Azam powered Islamabad United to a four-wicket victory over Karachi Kings in the fourth clash of the ongoing eighth edition of the (PSL) at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi on Thursday.

Opting to bowl first, the Shadab Khan-led Islamabad restricted Karachi Kings to 173 runs before chasing down the target in 18.2 overs.

Talking about the match, Munro said that the wicket was a little bit two paced.

“I think we got a little bit of luck. I think the way we went out and tried to be aggressive and put the pressure on the bowlers was outstanding. So, with the nature of the wickets, you could see there was some grassy patches and some bare patches. So, wherever the ball landed, it really behaved a little bit differently. So yeah, we just went out try to be positive and luckily it went away,” he said.

He also praised the standard of cricket in PSL, saying that it is frightening to face some of the fast bowlers playing in the league.

“There’s a lot of fast bowling. Everybody who comes here says that it’s frightening facing a couple of these boys, especially some of the guys you don’t really know. I saw last night playing for Multan, Ihsanullah, who bowled really fast,” he said.

“It’s a tough tournament to play because of the different conditions that you get, it’s obviously up there with one of the better tournaments going around. I think the quality of cricket is phenomenal,” he concluded.

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