Young pacesetter Naseem Shah was the star of the show for Pakistan, but it wasn’t ball in hand. He won the match for Babar Azam-led side with the bat, in fact, against Afghanistan in the Super 4 clash of the ongoing Asian Cup. Naseem skipped two sixes of the first two balls of the final bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi to seal a one-wicket win for Pakistan. The match was one for all time, and even skipper Babar couldn’t contain his emotions at the post-match presentation.
During the post-match presentation for former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri, Babar said: “This moment reminds me of Javed Miandad’s six.”
To this, Shastri replied, “I was there that day, thanks for remembering.”
Javed Miandad had hit a final six in the bowling alley of India’s Chetan Sharma during the 1986 Austral-Asia Cup, resulting in a famous victory for Pakistan. Naseem may not have hit the last ball six, but everyone will still remember his exploits for a while.
Speaking about the match, Babar said: “To be honest, the locker room was very tense. The team walked in and out of the locker room. Excellent with the way Naseem Shah finished it.”
“Sharjah always scores low, and Mujeeb and Rashid Khan are two of the best bowlers. We just wanted to go deep into the game,” he said of Pakistan’s strategy.
“The way we started with the ball was excellent. In our at bat, we didn’t execute our plans very well, but Naseem was excellent. In the back of my mind, I’ve seen Naseem play like this before and I had faith in him,” said the Pakistani skipper.
Afghanistan went on to bat first and they placed 129/6 in 20 overs. Pakistan chased 130 and at one point ran with a score of 87/3 in the 16th over. However, Pakistan dropped from there to 118/9 in the penultimate over. In the final, they needed 11 for a win, and it was Naseem Shah who proved to be the hero of Pakistan.
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