Afridi asked for superior role
Pakistan match-winner Shahid Afridi has revealed he asked to be promoted up the order on Thursday.
Last Updated: 18/06/09 10:44pm
Pakistan match-winner Shahid Afridi has revealed he asked his captain, Younus Khan, to be promoted up the order for the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final against South Africa on Thursday.
Coming in at number three, Afridi hit a swashbuckling 51 in 34 deliveries as Pakistan posted 149 for four batting first.
He then provided the star turn with the ball, returning two for 16 off four overs as the Proteas lost by seven runs.
And Afridi, who has batted as low as six during the competition, admitted he requested a pivotal role from Younus.
"I hoped for a performance like this," he told Sky Sports 1. "If you are batting and bowling obviously it's good.
"I am very, very happy to see my team in the final, that's what I wanted and what I said to Younus - to send me in either at number three or as an opener and he did.
"I really enjoyed my batting but also the bowling and fielding."
Younus also hailed Afridi's efforts and has tipped his side to beat either Sri Lanka or West Indies, who play on Friday, in Sunday's final at Lord's.
"Afridi is always a match-winner for us. Today he was batting three and he turned it on for Pakistan, it's all about his commitment but also about our teamwork," Younus added.
"In the big games we do well and now I think we will win this. We can take our chances and, inshallah [God willing], with one more game we can win the World Cup."
Losing captain Graeme Smith was pragmatic in defeat, meanwhile, and insisted Pakistan had merely outplayed his much-fancied side.
"The boys gave their best and they just came across a very good Pakistan team, particularly Afridi," he said.
"We gave 100 percent but we were just beaten on the day but I'm proud of the way the guys fought to the end.
"We have to keep learning and keep chugging on, we played some great cricket during our time here. We were really finishing on a successful note and we fell one game short."