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Rex Clementine Fernando
June 25, 2001
Photo © CricInfo
The slightly built pace bowler from Lahore destroyed Sri Lanka's batting line up in three spells, the last two of which were quite devastating, from the Old Dutch Fort End, enabling his side to restrict Sri Lanka to a paltry 141 in their first innings.
The 19-year-old, who participated in the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka last year, reflected afterwards on his bowling performance, in which he claimed six wickets for 38 runs in just 12 overs.
"This is very important day for me," he said. "It is my most memorable feat because this will help me get back into the senior side, which is my dream."
However, Irfan, who is a great fan of the Pakistani pace duo of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram, is also aware of the fact that it's going to be an extremely hard slog with so much competition amongst the fast bowlers.
Irfan, who has played in a Test against Sri Lanka last year in Karachi and in a One-Day International in the Caribbean, spoke about the chances his side has got to win the game: "We've got a good chance now to win this game, but our batsmen still have to bat well. If they put up a good score we can put them under pressure."
The Sri Lankan batsmen will have to watch out again in the second innings, even if they bowl out the Pakistanis cheaply tomorrow and restrict their lead; Irfan could easily create havoc again.
Irfan believes that though he got six wickets, the wicket suited the batsmen: "It was a good one to bat on, as the ball was coming onto the bat."
Four of his six victims were clean bowled, two of which were perfect reverse swinging yorkers. His last three wickets came after tea, all bowled to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings. "After tea, I bowled with a certain plan and luckily for me it worked," he said. "I also got ample support from the other end and my team mates."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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