Samiullah enjoys the limelight

He could've easily been mistaken for Wasim Akram or even Irfan Pathan for the in-swing he got in the second innings to dismiss Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor. Samiullah Khan, getting the ball to curl into the right-handers at decent pace, probably did enough to stake a claim for an entry into the Pakistan squad for the five-match ODI series.
Samiullah's five wickets - four of them leg-before - followed a hugely successful Quaid-e-Azam Trophy campaign in which he managed 46 wickets for eventual winners Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited to end as the tournament's fourth-highest wicket-taker.

He has reason to be pleased, considering that his efforts came after a year out of the game due to injury "It feels amazing to be back among the wickets after the injury layoff," Samiullah said. "I've had the whole of last season off due to injury but I kept training and worked hard on other aspects of my game and now I have returned with much to offer."

With a depleted bowling attack on the cards due to the absence of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, the left-arm fast-bowler is hopeful of making his international debut. "I'm in good form. I've performed well for my department this season [in domestic cricket] and it would be an honour to play for Pakistan. I was aware that the selectors were watching and hopefully, with my form and the performance I have just put in, I will get the nod for the Zimbabwe series."

Samiullah and Sohail Khan, the opening bowlers for Patron's XI, failed to cause much trouble in the first innings with Samiullah managing a solitary wicket - in his first over - while Sohail went wicketless. Making amends, the duo shared eight wickets in the second innings to complete the rout.

"The conditions and the pitch were tough for fast bowling. Our plan, as advised by the coach, was to bowl straight and make the batsmen play. We wanted to bowl maidens and frustrate the batsmen so that they would make an error.

"I only got a single wicket in the first innings but am not disheartened by that at all as my second-innings' effort made up for it quite nicely." While Samiullah rates Zimbabwe as a good side and is hopeful of his chances, his parting words - "we will have to do well to beat them" - all but assured those present of how confident he is of making his debut next week.