Sharjah, Sep 8: After a close loss to Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi admitted that his team didn’t hold the nerves and wasn’t able to finish well, adding that they didn’t leave the game at any stage.
Pakistan survived a scare and held their nerves to beat Afghanistan by one wicket in a thrilling Super Four match to reach the final of the Asia Cup 2022 and knock India out of the tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. After this win, Pakistan will now face Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup. On the other hand, it was curtains for Afghanistan and India – as both teams lost their two consecutive Super Four matches and will now face each other in a dead rubber on Thursday.
“Yes the bowling and the fielding was brilliant, but we didn’t finish well and we didn’t hold our nerves. We didn’t leave the game at any stage.The boys fought on every ball. Again, it was the end, both with the bat and with the ball,” said Nabi at the post-match presentation. As per Afghan skipper, he knew that chasing 130 wasn’t going to be easy on that pitch.
“We thought that we chased well against Bangladesh. We knew it would be tough chasing 130 here, and that’s why we looked to bowl dot balls. We didn’t give easy singles,” he said. Fazalhaq Farooqi, Afghanistan’s most impressive bowler of the night before the start of the last over, crumbled under pressure as Naseem Shah hit back to back sixes off the first two balls and led Pakistan to a thrilling one wicket win, with four balls to spare.
Asked about the plan on the last two deliveries, Nabi said he suggested the bowler to use either slower bouncers or yorkers. “The plan on the last two deliveries was to bowl slower bouncers or bowl yorkers, but he (Farooqi) didn’t execute his plans. We will try our best to play the last game with the same energy. We have a game tomorrow now. Thanks for the support, it was lovely from the fans here,” he said.