The 23-year-old Hasan Ali has been central to Pakistan’s progress since a woeful 124-run defeat by India in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4 and heads into Sunday’s final at the Oval as the 2017 edition’s leading wicket-taker with 10 at an average of just 17.20 apiece.
Given that Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s most successful bowler, has taken six wickets so far, it will take something special to stop Hasan from finishing as the leading wicket-taker in a tournament featuring the world’s top eight one-day international sides.
Hasan Ali achievement is all the more impressive given he only made his ODI debut in August last year.”It’s like a dream,” Hasan told AFP on Friday.
“I set a goal for myself during the West Indies series (in Guyana in April) and it was to become the best bowler in the Champions Trophy 2017.
I want to achieve that goal,” added Hasan Ali, whose 20 career ODIs have yielded a haul of 39 wickets at an average of 23.92 — impressive figures in a form of the game where, with fielding restrictions and increasingly short boundaries, the odds are often all in favour of batsmen making big scores.
”Now when I knew that the best bowler will get a ‘golden ball’, I am determined to get that souvenir as it will be my first in my career.”