Sohail Tanvir has won the hearts of the Pakistani team management and the national selectors and has been retained for the forthcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka.
The left arm fast bowler was initially selected for two Twenty20 matches vs. the Lankan Lions and was supposed to pack up his baggage for the way back home. The opening batsman Nasir Jamshed‘s left index finger was fractured and he was unlucky to stay back home. The batsman was originally picked up for T20s and the ODI series but he missed the boat and the national selectors preferred Sohail Tanvir over some other substitute player as requested by the team management from Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Pakistan started their trip with a couple of T20s and the first match was played at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota on June 1, 2012. The Green Shirts restricted the Lankan Lions for 132 runs in the allotted 20 overs and Sohail Tanvir bowled excellently while grabbing three wickets for just 12 runs in the measured four overs.
The Pakistani batsmen struggled while chasing, nine of them were unable to enter the double figures and the whole team was bowled out for 95 mere runs as they lost the match by a huge margin of 37 runs.
The second T20 was held at the same venue on June 3, 2012 and the Green Shirts managed 122 runs after losing six wickets in the allotted 20 overs. The visitors were reeling at 4-41 in 10.1 overs when Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik came to the rescue of the team and shared a match winning partnership of 68 runs for the fifth wicket. Afridi played a match winning unbeaten knock of 52 scored off just 33 balls that comprised one six and five fours as Shoaib Malik shared 27 runs. Pakistan scored a fighting total of 122 with four wickets in hand after the required quota of 20 overs was consumed.
It was left to the Green Shirts bowlers to take their team back in the series while winning the match with an accurate bowling. They showed their commitment by example and the home batsmen were unable to cope with the lethal spell of the bowlers. Chamara Kapugedara was the highest scorer for the Islanders with 19 runs and the whole team was sent back to the pavilion for just 99 in 19.2 overs. Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Sami were the highest wicket takers with three each, Afridi held two whereas Sohail Tanvir once again created problems for the batsmen and picked up one wicket for 15 runs in four overs and Saeed Ajmal got one as well.
Pakistan achieved the much needed victory by 23 runs and the series was levelled at 1-1, whereas Sohail Tanvir was declared ‘Player of the series’ for his tremendous bowling execution in the two T20s.
The team management was impressed with the dedicated performance of Sohail Tanvir and requested the national selection committee to retain him in the upcoming five One Day International series against the hosts Sri Lanka. The chief selector Iqbal Qasim consulted the selection committee and accorded with the approval of bringing back the left arm quickie. Qasim commented,
“In view of the request from the team management and keeping in consideration the current form of Sohail Tanvir, the selection committee has decided that he may be retained for the ODIs in Sri Lanka.”
Sohail Tanvir has represented Pakistan in 43 ODIs and has secured 55 wickets at an average of 32.16 runs per wicket with the best of 5-48. He can be a lethal weapon for the visitors in the ODI series as the Lankan batsmen found it hard to tackle with his calculated bowling in the two T20s.