close
Saturday March 02, 2024

Pak vs NZ: Naseem Shah 'confident' of run chase had match not stopped

"I was aiming to chase the target. I was confident that I could do that but I didn’t get enough time," Naseem says

January 06, 2023
Pakistan’s fast bowler Naseem Shah speaks to Geo News in Karachi on January 6, 2023. — Photo by author
Pakistan’s fast bowler Naseem Shah speaks to Geo News in Karachi on January 6, 2023. — Photo by author

KARACHI: Pakistan’s fast bowler and tail-end batter Naseem Shah on Friday said he was aiming to chase the target even when Pakistan were nine wickets down on the last day of the second Test against New Zealand in Karachi.

Pakistan closed the day 304 for nine, 15 runs short of their target when umpires decided that the light was not enough to continue the game.

Shah came into bat in the 85th over after Hassan Ali was trapped LBW by Tim Southee and joined senior teammate Sarfaraz Ahmed in middle, but the right-hand batter got out in less than two overs.

Shah was then left with Abrar Ahmed to survive till the day end and the pacer did that despite New Zealand bringing aggressive and close field placing against the batters.

The number 10 batter had also smashed a six and a four off Michael Bracewell to keep chase hopes alive but he didn’t have enough time.

"I was aiming to chase the target. I was confident that I could do that but I didn’t get enough time. I am happy that we managed to draw the test as well," he told Geo News.

“Pressure was naturally there, especially when Sarfaraz got out, but I've played in such situations before as well, where I had to survive or save the match for the team; I was confident,” he said.

Naseem said that five-day cricket is different from ODIs and T20Is and where you get the result of your five days’ hard work in the last hour of the game and the same happened against New Zealand.

“It was a very good game of Test cricket, we were positive and everyone was aiming to chase the target,” he said.

“When they had brought fielders close to me, I saw the scoreboard and thought 25 runs are getable. Then, I attempted to do that. I managed to hit a couple of shots then told their captain that I am going to chase if he continues to keep the same fielding,” Naseem recalled.

The young pacer said that when the fielders were closer, the situation reminded him of his childhood days when he used to play a certain form of cricket “one-tip-out” where a batter is considered out even if he is caught after one bounce.

“I felt like it is the same situation, so I had a similar thing in my mind plus [head coach] Saqlain Mushtaq had once told me that if you are surrounded by fielders consider that circle is minimised and one good shot can get you some runs, so I had these things in my mind and I kept going,” he concluded.