The Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 witnessed a breathtaking display of cricketing prowess as Yusuf Pathan, the renowned Indian batter, led the Joburg Buffaloes to a thrilling victory in Qualifier 1 against the Durban Qalandars. With an unbeaten 80 off just 26 deliveries, Yusuf’s power-packed performance left the fans in awe at the Harare Sports Club.
In a nail-biting chase of 140 runs, Yusuf Pathan displayed panache and composure, hitting eight towering sixes and five boundaries, igniting thunderous cheers from the crowds. Despite it being his first time playing in the T10 format, Yusuf showed remarkable maturity, stating, “When you’re chasing a big target like this, you need to stay calm and go for the big hits, being the man for the team. This innings was one of my special performances for sure.”
“I wanted him to see this moment and feel proud of his father:” Yusuf Pathan
The victory celebration was nothing short of exhilarating, with Yusuf and Mushfiqur Rahim, the experienced Bangladesh wicket-keeper batter, basking in the glory. For Yusuf, the win held added significance as his son witnessed the special moment from the royal box. Beaming with pride, Yusuf shared, “This was a very special moment for sure. Also, it was wonderful because my son was sitting in the royal box and I wanted him to see the special moment. And I want him to feel proud of his father. One day, hopefully he gets inspired by these scenes and goes on to play for India.”
Affectionately called ‘Shumba’ (meaning ‘Lion’) by his Joburg Buffaloes teammates, Yusuf emphasized the importance of unity within the squad. He motivated the young Zimbabwean players, and their contributions were pivotal in the team’s success.
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“I am happy with young players:” Yusuf Pathan
“I spoke to the young Zimbabwean players and motivated them at all times. And we did the small and simple things well. And everyone played their roles well and kept things simple. I’m happy with the young players, because it is a big tournament and when you contribute it is a good sign for their career,” Yusuf added.
As the Buffaloes gear up to face the Durban Qalandars in the final, the stage is set for a thrilling showdown. Interestingly, these two teams were the top contenders on the points table during the league stage of the tournament, promising an electrifying clash on Saturday.
Yusuf Pathan’s extraordinary performance and his inspiring words have left cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipating the final, hoping to witness more fireworks from the dynamic ‘Lion’ of the Joburg Buffaloes.