Saeed Ajmal recalls shocking face-off with England’s James Anderson

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Former Pakistan spin wizard Saeed Ajmal recalled how he overcame a cluster of bouncers from England pacer James Anderson, on the way to the first and only fifty of his Test career.

Ajmal played a 50-run knock from 79 deliveries, during the second Test match of 2010 series between Pakistan and England at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“When they [England] took the new ball, Anderson came up to me and said ‘Are you ready for bouncers?’ and I told him that I don’t know English. I thought he is joking since I am a tailender and he would probably bowl straight and get me out. But they fired a barrage of bouncers at me. When I got hit by six or seven bouncers, I told Zulqarnain [Haider] that I want to smash Anderson’s head with my bat. Then I decided to go for my shots. I tried to step out of my crease and hit a couple of bouncers. Then the ball started coming on to my bat and I ended up with a fifty.” said Ajmal during a YouTube video.

The 42-year-old also shared some interesting dressing room stories of the thrilling One-day International (ODI) between Pakistan and South Africa in Sharjah in 2013, which the Men in Green lost by a narrow margin of 1 run.

“I had taken four wickets and was sure that I will get the man of the match award as we needed only 17 runs to win and five wickets were left with [Shahid] Afridi and Umar Akmal at the crease. I thought of having dinner quickly so that I can go to collect my man of the match award.” he said.

“As soon as I was about to put food into my plate, one wicket fell so I asked Wahab [Riaz] to pad up but he was confident that we will still win. Then, suddenly Afridi got out as well and Wahab started padding up. I told Wahab that I am padding up as well since I didn’t trust his batting either. As soon as I put on my pads, Wahab also got out. In the end, I was left stranded with Mohammad Irfan, needing 15 runs to win, and we lost the match by one run.” Ajmal added

The “Teesra” master further recalled how a comment by the controversial batsman Umar Akmal made him lose his cool after the end of the same game.

“I got a mobile phone in the prize distribution ceremony for being the best bowler of the match. When I came inside the dressing room, Umar Akmal came up to me and said ‘Wow Saeed bhai, you got a mobile’, which made me so angry that I threw the mobile away and smashed it into pieces. I wanted to win the match and not the mobile,” he said.

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