Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was delighted after his team defeated Hong Kong by 155 runs in a Group A clash of Asia Cup 2022 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Azam, who got out cheaply by scoring just 9 runs off 8 balls, lauded the batters for stepping up and playing their A game in a pressure situation.
ASIA CUP 2022: FULL COVERAGE | SCHEDULE | RESULTS
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bowl. Pakistan batters started off slow as they made just 64 runs in the first 10 overs at a loss of one wicket. However, in the next 10 overs, the batters shifted their gears and piled on 129 runs to finish with 193 for eight.
In the post-match conference, while highlighting about starting slow and then reaching a grand total, Azam said,
“Very nice victory for us. Weren’t able to get our shots away initially with the bat. The wicket was keeping low, but the way we batted and finished was outstanding. We want the top-orders batters to stay till the end, and the lower ones to bat around them. Becomes easier for those coming in. The way Naseem and Dahani have debuted, they have shown brilliant performances.”
Azam’s deputy Mohammad Rizwan stayed on the pitch till the end and remained Pakistan’s top-scorer with unbeaten 78 off 57 balls. After Azam’s wicket, Fakhar Zaman chipped in with a crucial 53-run off 41 balls knock and also stitched an important 116-run partnership with Rizwan for the second wicket.
After Zaman went back to the pavillion Khushdil Shah came into the picture and scored an unbeaten 15-ball 35 including five sixes, out of which four came in the last over only. His innings helped Pakistan to fetch 29 runs in the final over, registering a score close to 200-run mark.
ALSO READ: ‘Our Nation Demands It’ – Mohammad Rizwan’s Honest Reply on India vs Pakistan Fixtures
Apart from the batters, bowlers also performed brilliantly as they restricted Hong Kong to just 38 runs in the run chase. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, took 3/7 and shared seven wickets with leg-spinner Shadab Khan (4/8). He revealed that the plan was to bowl on a stump-to-stump line on a slow Sharjah pitch in defence of 192.
“We had simple plans: just bowl wicket to wicket as per the pitch. We wanted to bowl on a good length since the ball was keeping low. We wanted to score 170-plus initially. After the good start from the fast bowlers, we just needed to keep it simple.”
Pakistan finished second in Group A and will now face India on Sunday, September 4 in their first Super 4 stage match in Dubai.
Get the latest Cricket News, Schedule and Cricket Live Scores here