Before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup began, Pakistanis were angered over the selection committee’s decision to include pacer Haris Rauf and swashbuckling batsman Asif Ali.
Both cricketers also failed to fire on all cylinders in the National T20 Cup, inviting more wrath from the fans.
Until Pakistan locked horns with New Zealand, and needed both to perform. And perform they did.
Haris Rauf bowled at blistering pace, taking four important wickets to keep the Black Caps at bay. New Zealand scored a mediocre 134runs from their 20 overs owing to wickets taken frequently by Rauf.
Asif Ali also did not disappoint, on a day when Babar Azam played haplessly and Rizwan was unable to see the team through to a comfortable position.
Asif came at a time when Pakistan were under pressure, and did everything to relieve that pressure by hitting a couple of quality sixes.
Asif hit three sixes to score a quickfire 27 runs off 12 deliveries.
Here are some tweets that celebrated the two cricketers, who turned into heroes overnight for millions of Pakistanis across the globe:
Ammar Ali Jan said it best: “Revenge of the hated.”