Following his side’s thrilling five-wicket win over India in Super Four clash at ongoing Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said that the partnership between Mohammed Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz was the turning point of the match and the latter was promoted to tackle leg-spinners. A superb 71 by Mohammed Rizwan and 20-ball 42 by Mohammad Nawaz powered Pakistan to a victory.
“Our effort is to keep it simple. Ups and downs will keep happening. They (India) got the edge the way they utilised the powerplay. But our bowlers made a comeback. Rizwan and Nawaz partnership was the turning point. I had a hunch Nawaz would be key against leg spinners (about his promotion),” said Azam in post-match presentation.
It was an exciting day of cricketing action for the fans as they got their money’s worth. Chasing 182, Pakistan openers Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan tried to give their side a solid start, mixed with some occasional big hits and consistent strike rotation. However, in the fourth over, spinner Ravi Bishnoi struck for India, sending back Babar Azam for 14 off 10 balls while the batter was trying to hit it over the midwicket region. At this point, Pakistan was 22/1.
Babar’s horrific run in the tournament continued as he registered his third below-20 score of the tournament. Southpaw Fakhar Zaman was up next on the crease. Zaman kept taking his time to settle while Rizwan continued to look good from the other end. They kept the scoreboard ticking for Pakistan and took them through the powerplay without any further damage.
However, it was Nawaz who displayed some attacking intent while batting. Rizwan also kept things steady from the other end. Rizwan brought up his half-century in 37 balls with four boundaries and two sixes and also helped his side touch 100-run mark in 12.2 overs. The duo brought up their fifty-run stand in just 29 balls, keeping Pakistan in contention. In the final six overs, Pakistan needed 63 runs.
It was Bhuvneshwar Kumar that gave Team India a much-needed breakthrough, sending Nawaz back for 42 off 20 balls and breaking the 73-run stand between the duo. It was Deepak Hooda who took a catch at long-off.
In the final three overs, Pakistan needed 34 runs. Asif Ali had joined Khushdil Shah on the crease. Ravi Bishnoi came to deliver the next over. Asif Ali was dropped by Arshdeep Singh. Bishnoi delivered some wides in his over as well. In the final two overs, Pakistan needed 25 runs.
Arshdeep came to deliver the final over. He took the wicket of Asif Ali to keep Team India’s hopes alive, with two runs needed in two deliveries. Ali was out for 16 off seven balls. Iftikhar Ahmed was the next batter. In the end, Pakistan won the match with one ball to go by five wickets.
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