A crucial combination between Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz helped Pakistan to a dramatic five-wicket triumph against India in their first Super Four game of the Asia Cup on Sunday.
Pakistan sent in left-handed spinner Nawaz to add to the scoring, and he instantly smacked a four and a six.
Nawaz smacked five fours and two sixes in his 20-ball blitz and fought aside Rizwan before falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
At the post-match press conference, Nawaz was queried about the choice to send him further up the order. The 28-year-old said that the decision was made by team management. Nawaz further stated that he was prepared to attack right away.
“Management must have made the decision. I was ready to fight with a clear mind “Nawaz said.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam also explained why Nawaz was promoted to the top of the batting order. He stated: “I believed Nawaz might outperform since they had two legspinners running, so we used them up (about his promotion). At the death, our spinners and fast bowlers set the tone for us.”
“There was positive pressure,” added Nawaz, who also bowled 1-25 with his left-arm spin.
“I felt I had to do well for my team, and at the time, it was 10 runs per over, and I knew I could do it. All I had to do was concentrate on my hitting and perform the abilities.”
“Playing such an innings in such a high-pressure game has given me confidence and allowed me to improve as a player,” Nawaz added.
“I’ll attempt to live up to the expectations that will be placed on me (after this innings) and perform like a good all-rounder.”
The match on Sunday was another cliffhanger and Nawaz said that he hopes both teams will play more such close encounters in the future.
“The first match we played was close and neck to neck. I hope we play like this all the time,” said Nawaz.