Babar Azam-led Pakistan National Cricket Team won by 1 wicket against Mohammad Nabi-led Afghanistan National Cricket Team in Match 4 of the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 round at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, September 7.
After winning the toss, Pakistan National Cricket Team decided to bowl first and the bowling unit of the side performed exceptionally well in the match. All the Pakistan bowlers, including Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Hasnain, performed brilliantly and picked up at least one wicket each.
Afghanistan posted 129/6 on the board and Ibrahim Zadran finished as the top run-getter for the side with 35 runs in his bag.
Chasing the target, Pakistan’s top-3 batters failed miserably. Babar Azam got out for a golden duck in the first over, which was bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi. Fakhar Zaman got run out for 5 in the 4th over and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan got out LBW for 20 in the 9th over. However, Iftikhar Ahmed (30) and Shadab Khan (36) provided stability to Pakistan’s innings.
In the end, Pakistan lost quick wickets of Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Haris Rauf. However, Naseem Shah smashed back-to-back sixes to take Pakistan past the finish line.
Also, Pakistan have ended the campaigns of both India and Afghanistan and have qualified for the final along with Sri Lanka.
It was quite a tensed environment in the dressing room – Babar Azam
During the post-match presentation ceremony, Babar Azam said that there was a tense environment in the dressing room during the match. He asserted:
“To be honest, it was quite a tensed environment in the dressing room. We couldn’t build partnerships like the last few games, but the way Naseem finished it, you could see the mahaul (vibe) after that.”
He further said that Afghanistan’s spin trio of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman is amongst the best in the world. He said:
“Rashid, Mujeeb and Nabi are one of the best so you need to take chances with them but the main plan was to take it deep. The way we started bowling, we did well. The way we kept them down to 130, want to give credit to the bowlers. As I said before, the lack of partnerships made the game close.”
While talking about the last over, Babar Azam said that Naseem Shah’s boundaries reminded him of batting legend Javed Miandad’s six in Sharjah. He said:
“(Last over) I was in the dressing room. But at the back of the mind, I thought it is cricket, and I have seen Naseem bat like this, so I had a little bit of belief. This reminded me of Javed Miandad’s six in Sharjah. The way our momentum is going, we want to continue and not repeat our mistakes. The next game will be a new game.”
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