Dubai — Multan Sultans’ veteran pacer Umar Gul produced his career best figures of 6 for 24 on Wednesday night, but his effort went in vain as Quetta Gladiators won by two wickets with one ball to spare. His performance was a spectacular display from a never-say-die pacer who has had to fight recurring injuries. The 33-year-old Gul by taking six of the eight Quetta wickets has announced that he is good to be picked again for the national team though he has not been considered for international cricket since 2016.
“I will keep myself fit and perform and bowl at my best. I believe whoever performs will get a chance soon,” remarked Gul, who has 163 Test wickets and 179 One-day and 85 Twenty20 International wickets to his credit.
Gul has produced six-wicket spells in Test and One-dayers and when asked whether he is aware that today’s spell is his best career spell, he said: “I am aware of it and it would have been great if my team won the match too. My aim is always to keep on trying to give my best performance for my team whenever and wherever I get a chance to perform.”
It was Gul’s first match in this edition. “I’ve been waiting for my chance. The management has been happy with the performance of our combination so far. Unfortunately, Junaid (Khan) got sidelined today and hence I got my chance to play. It would have been great to end on the winning side,” he said.
Gul is hoping that his hard work will give its result. “During the domestic season I had worked hard on my fitness and I had shown keenness that I can do something special. I have been playing cricket for long and so I wanted to give a nice performance.”
Gul was hit for two sixes in the 19th over and 13 runs were taken off his over. “It was disappointing to give away 13 runs in the second last over (though he took two wickets). I tried my best to leave as many runs as possible for the last over,” he said
Gul even said that bowling isn’t easy to a team that is chasing. “It was very hard for bowlers to restrict runs. So to restrict batsmen to a score of below 160 wasn’t easy because of the dew factor too. However, it is no excuse because as a professional one has to perform even if there is dew.”
So is Gul confident of a return to Pakistan team soon? “ Definitely. I am trying my best in domestic cricket and playing many T20 and One-dayers. I know there is no short cut and so when I get chance I will perform. Honestly, Test cricket is something I love the most.”
Quetta Gladiators bt Multan Sultan by two wkts. Multan Sultans 152 for 5 in 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 27, Shoaib Malek 65no), Quetta Gladiators 156 for 8 in 19.5 overs (Asad Shafiq 20, Shane Watson 26, Rilee Rossouw 27, Rameez Raja Jr 22, Umar Gul 6 for 24) Man of the match: Umar Gul