Pakistan Road to Asia Cup 2022 Final: Here’s How Babar Azam and Co. Made it to Summit of T20 Tournament

Pakistan Road to Asia Cup 2022 Final: Here’s How Babar Azam and Co. Made it to Summit of T20 Tournament

Pakistan is one of the two confirmed finalists in the DP World Asia Cup 2022. Before the start of the Asia Cup 2022, the only setback in Pakistan playing XI was thought to be the absence of their premier pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. However, as the tournament came into play, Pakistan unveiled another pacer to international cricket in the form of Naseem Shah who if not completely, somehow filled the void. Different players showed up in different matches as match winners for Pakistan. From Mohammad Nawaz’s unforeseen cameo with the bat against India to Naseem Shah’s two sixes in the last over against Afghanistan, which gave everyone flashbacks of famous sixes by Javed Miandad and Shahid Afridi at the same Sharjah stadium, it has been a heck of a journey for Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022. Naseem Shah Collects Phones from Fans for Selfies During PAK vs SL Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 Match (Watch Video)

Pakistan started off their Asia Cup 2022 with a loss against the arch-rivals India in the opening match of the group stage by 5 wickets. They struggled to put decent runs on the board as the whole side was dismissed on 147 runs. While defending, an early breakthrough by Naseem and Nawaz did give some respite however Hardik Pandya had other plans as he smashed 33 off 17 to clinch the match. To qualify for the Super 4 round, Pakistan was in a must-win situation against Hong Kong. Luckily, Hong Kong wasn’t much of a threat for the Green Shirts to advance into the second round and they did so with ease by a huge margin of 155 runs. Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 78 along with Fakhar Zaman (53) and they aided Pakistan to put a towering total of 192. Pakistan bowled Hong Kong all out on just 38 runs courtesy of Shadab Khan’s 4-fer and Nawaz’s 3 wickets. Naseem got the early breakthroughs of Nizakat Khan and Babar Hayat.

After making it to the super four, Pakistan once again were to face India in the opening match of the second round. The Green Shirts had better plans this time and fortunate enough they won the toss as well. India who once seemed to score beyond 200, were well off restricted by Pakistani bowlers on 181 runs. And while chasing, Rizwan’s 71 complemented by Mohammad Nawaz’s heroics of 42 from 20 balls, his career-best, had put things in perspective for Pakistan as they won by 5 wickets.

Pakistan were yet to play two games in the super four round and win at least one match to qualify for the finals. As they squared off against Afghanistan in their second Super 4 match, Pakistani bowlers did a serious job and restricted Afghanistan to a paltry score of 129 runs. However, the unpredictability of the Pakistan side was yet again displayed as they were reeling on 118 for 9 at one stage. And in the final over with two tail-handers on the crease, 11 was required with just a wicket in hand. It never looked that Pakistan will make it to 130 runs until Naseem Shah faced Fazalhaq Farooqi in the final over and smashed back-to-back sixes of the two full tosses to register the epic win. With this win, Pakistan advanced into the final of Asia Cup 2022 and knocked India and Afghanistan out of the tournament.

(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Sep 10, 2022 11:26 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).