Pakistan vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2022: ‘It reminded me of Miandad’s six’, says Babar Azam on Naseem’s heroics with bat – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Pakistan clinched their second win in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2022 against Afghanistan in a close encounter. The Babar Azam-led side has now registered a place in the final and will play Sri Lanka in the title clash on Sunday. With Pakistan’s win, India and Afghanistan have been knocked out of the tournament.

Needing 11 in the final over while chasing 130 with one wicket in hand, Pakistan went over the line with four balls to spare as Naseem Shah hammered two sixes on the trot to finish off the game.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam lauded Naseem for his efforts and also hailed the bowlers for their performance.

“To be honest, the dressing room was very tensed. The team was walking in and out of the dressing room. Excellent with the way Naseem Shah finished it off. Sharjah is always low-scoring, and Mujeeb and Rashid Khan are two of the best bowlers. We just wanted to take the match deep. The way we started with the ball was excellent. In our batting, we didn’t execute ‘t our plans very well, but Naseem was outstanding. I didn’t expect this as such, but in the back of my mind, I have seen Naseem play like this earlier, and I had some belief. This moment reminds me of Javed Miandad’s six. We would like to continue this momentum and not repeat our mistakes,” Babar said during the post-match presentation.

Afghanistan skipper admitted that the side’s bowling and fielding were brilliant but they failed to hold the nerves right till the end.

“Yes the bowling and the fielding were brilliant, but we didn’t finish well and we didn’t hold our nerves. We didn’t leave the game at any stage. The boys fought on every ball. Again, it was the end, both with the bat and with the ball. We thought that we chased well against Bangladesh. We knew it would be tough chasing 130 here, and that’s why we looked to bowl dot balls. We didn’t give easy singles. The plan on the last two deliveries was to bowl slower bouncers or bowl yorkers, but he (Farooqi) didn’t execute his plans. We will try our best to play the last game with the same energy,” Nabi said.

Earlier, Pakistan had ridden on a superb bowling performance to restrict Afghanistan to 129/6 in 20 overs.

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