Pakistan hero Mohammed Nawaz: 'I knew I had to attack every chance I got'

All-rounder's 42 off 20 balls propels Pakistan to five-wicket win over India and edges them closer to a place in the Asia Cup 2022 final

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Mohammed Nawaz acknowledged his sparkling innings in Pakistan’s Asia Cup win over India on Sunday night came about because his only option was to attack.

The left-handed all-rounder was promoted up the order after Pakistan were toiling in pursuit of 182 to win at the Dubai International Stadium.

When he came to the wicket, his side were on 63 for two. With Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman already dismissed, Pakistan still required 119 in 68 balls.

Nawaz gave his side the impetus they needed, blazing 42 in 20 balls, and they eventually closed out the win with five wickets and a ball to spare.

“We needed 10 runs per over when I walked in to bat so I knew I had to attack every chance I got,” said Nawaz, who had earlier played a fine hand with the ball, too.

“My mind was clear that I'd hit out at every ball in my zone. I didn't try and overplay, which you sometimes can when you're under pressure.”

The win came by the same margin as India had managed against Pakistan in the group stage a week earlier.

It means Pakistan are now two points closer to Sunday’s final. They have Super 4 fixtures against Afghanistan on Wednesday and Sri Lanka on Friday.

India's Rohit Sharma talks to Hardik Pandya. Reuters

Rohit Sharma, whose India side face Sri Lanka on Tuesday, said his side had learnt a lot in defeat.

“It was a high-pressure game, we know that, and you have to be at it all the time,” Rohit said.

“You can’t let anything slip away. Honestly, we were quite calm, even when there was a stand in the middle between Rizwan and Mohammed Nawaz.

“Things can change quickly but that partnership went a little long. They batted brilliantly.

“Games like this will help us learn a lot of things, about how we can attack in certain situations, which balls to choose to certain batters and the dimensions of the ground, which is very, very important.

“Those are the things we can learn, and I am pretty happy with what happened today.”

Updated: September 05, 2022, 2:53 AM