Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: I had the self-belief to hit sixes, says Naseem Shah

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Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: I had the self-belief to hit sixes, says Naseem Shah
Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: I had the self-belief to hit sixes, says Naseem Shah

Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: I had the self-belief to hit sixes, says Naseem Shah

Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Pakistan tailender Naseem Shah credited self-belief and practice sessions in the nets for his final over heroics against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.

In the final over of the game, Naseem hit two consecutive sixes to help his team defeat Afghanistan and advance to the championship.

The 22-year-old, who has already made an impression with his quick bowling in the tournament, took on a new role on Wednesday when his two jaw-dropping sixes eliminated India from the competition in addition to helping Pakistan win by one wicket in a tight Super 4 encounter.

“When I went in to bat I had the belief to hit the sixes. I practice (hitting sixes) and I knew they would bowl yorkers as they had the field up. I just tried and I executed,” Naseem said after the match.

“We need to have the belief, we can hit, we keep practicing in the nets and I also changed my bat, it worked.

“When you lose the ninth wicket, no one expects you to win, but I had belief that I can. I practice hitting a lot. This will be a memorable game for me. Everyone’s forgotten I am a bowler.”

When Naseem entered, Pakistan needed 20 from 10 balls and had two wickets in hand. Prior to that, the no. 10 batter had only faced one ball in T20Is. When Asif Ali was out on the fifth ball of the penultimate over, panic broke out.

Pakistan needed 11 from the final over, but Naseem took the initiative to end the game.

“Asif was batting when I came in and my job was to give him strike but when he got out, I thought it was all on me.”

Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, recalled the legendary last-ball six that Javed Miandad smashed off Chetan Sharma to defeat India in Sharjah in 1986. When Miandad’s valour helped Pakistan win the Austral-Asia Cup, Azam hadn’t even been born yet.

“I was in the dressing room (during last over). 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,” he said.

“To be honest, it was quite a tense environment in the dressing room. We couldn’t build partnerships like last few games. But the way Naseem finished it, you could see the mahaul (vibe) after that.”

Pakistan play Sri Lanka in the summit clash on Sunday.