Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Naseem Shah’s two last-over sixes power Pakistan into Asia Cup 2022 final

Pakistan’s No.10 batsman Naseem Shah hit two brilliant last-over sixes to pull off a thrilling one-wicket win over Afghanistan on September 7 in Sharjah stadium.

With this victory, Pakistan has sealed the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, knocking out rivals India in the process.

Chasing 130 for victory, Pakistan was in deep trouble at 118-9 but all-rounder Naseem Shah turned the match around when he hit over the fence off Fazalhaq, Afghanistan’s most successful bowler, to win with four balls to spare.

The thrilling last-over win sent the entire stadium and Pakistani cricket fans in jubilation.

Naseem had a big smile, even tears of joy even as he was flanked by his teammates. “When I came in to bat, I had the belief I could hit sixes,” he said. “I practiced this in the nets. I just tried and I executed. We need to have the belief, that we can hit” he said.

Shadab Khan, who was named Player of the Match for his crucial 26-ball 36, said: “Those sixes [by Naseem Shah] will always be remembered,” he said

‘This reminded me of Javed Miandad’s six’, says Babar Azam

Naseem made history at the same venue where former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad once hit a last-ball six against India in the 1986 Austral-Asia Cup final.

Babar Azam wasn’t even born when Miandad hit that last-ball six in Sharjah off Chetan Sharma to clinch the Austral-Asia Cup for Pakistan. Azam said he was reminded of Miandad’s magic from 36 years ago.

“This reminded me of Javed Miandad’s six in Sharjah,” Babar said. India’s Ravi Shastri, who was doing the post-match presentation, responded with a laugh, saying, “I was there that day, thank you for reminding [me].” Shastri had bowled nine overs in that game where Miandad stole the show.

PAK vs AFG scores in brief:

  • Pakistan beat Afghanistan by one wicket
  • Afghanistan 129-6, 20 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 35, Hazratullah Zazai 21; Haris Rauf 2-26)
  • Pakistan 131-9, 19.2 overs (Shadab Khan 36, Iftikhar Ahmed 30, Mohammad Rizwan 20, Asif Ali 16; Fazalhaq Farooqi 3-31, Fareed Ahmed 3-31, Rashid Khan 2-25)
  • Player of the match – Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

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