Naseem Shah credits self belief for final-over heroics

Pakistan No.10 batter Naseem Shah smashed back-to-back sixes in the final over of a thriller in Sharjah to help set up a clash with Sri Lanka in the final of Asia Cup 2022.

Pakistan needed 20 off 10 balls with two wickets in hand when Naseem Shah walked out to the middle. The tailender, who had only ever faced one ball in T20Is before this, had the experienced Asif Ali at the other end and he quickly turned over the strike to his more senior team-mate.

But panic set in when Ali was dismissed on the fifth ball of the penultimate over, with Naseem then deciding to take it upon himself from that point with Pakistan still requiring 13 runs to register the victory.

“When I went in Asif was there and my job was to give him strike but once he got out the onus was on me,” Naseem said in the post-match chat with Ravi Shastri.

Fazalhaq Farooqi, who had figures of 3-0-19-3 until that point, was due to bowl the final over and Naseem said he was prepared for the yorkers that would come his way.

“When I went in to bat I had the belief to hit the sixes,” he said.

“I practice (hitting sixes) and I knew they would bowl yorkers as they had the field up. There needs to be belief, we keep practicing in the nets and I also changed my bat, it worked.

“There is very little belief when you are nine down but I had the self-belief and this will be a memorable game for me.”

Naseem’s heroics helped knock Afghanistan and India out of the tournament and set up a mouth-watering clash in the final between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Source: ICC International