Afif enjoys batting under pressure

Bangladesh's Afif Hossain watches the ball after playing a shot during the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg on 20 March 2022.AFP

Bangladesh batter Afif Hossain said he enjoys batting in pressure situations after playing a match-winning knock under pressure against the UAE in Dubai on Sunday.

The Tigers had been reduced to 77-5 after 11 overs against the UAE and were staring at a below par total on a batting friendly pitch at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Afif Hossain hit his career-best 77 off 55 balls against the UAE in the first T20I at the Dubai International Stadium on 25 September, 2022

Afif then played his career-best T20 knock of 77 off just 55 deliveries to take Bangladesh to 158-5.The match went down to the wire but in the end, the Tigers eked out a narrow seven-run win over the associate nation.

Afif, who turned 23 just four days ago, saved Bangladesh from the ignominy of suffering their maiden T20 defeat against the UAE.

The left-hander has bailed out the team in the past from precarious situation. Batting in difficult scenarios has become a habit for Afif and he now claims to even enjoy performing the difficult duty.

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“It always feels good to bat under pressure. I wanted to bat till the end and it feels good to come out as a success,” Afif said in the post-match presentation ceremony on Sunday.

Afif formed an unbroken 81-run partnership off 54 balls with stand-in skipper Nurul Hasan, which pushed Bangladesh’s total over 150.

Afif effortlessly rotated the strike and hit seven fours and three sixes in what could be termed as an ideal T20 innings.

Bangladesh middle-order is currently short of experience after the retirement of Mushfiqur Rahim and the exclusion of Mahmudullah.

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In their absence, Afif will have to shoulder more responsibility in the middle-order in T20s.

Afif, however, denies any extra pressure.

“No extra pressure on us despite missing a few senior players. We have to play our best XI at all times. I hope I can get runs in the next game as well,” said Afif.