Thursday December 08, 2022

Asif Ali a true finisher: Babar Azam

October 30, 2021
Asif Ali a true finisher: Babar Azam

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan emerged firm favourites to top Twenty20 World Cup Group 2 following their third successive win, captain Babar Azam hailed Man of the Match Asif Ali's performance, terming him a "true finisher".

In his post-match media talk, Babar said he had full faith in Asif's qualities. "I knew Asif had that quality to finish the match. He has done it for us in two games," Babar said. "Though it was a bit tough this time, yet he managed it with ease."

Babar admitted that Pakistan conceded 15 runs extra while bowling. "We wanted to restrict Afghanistan for around 130 and was well set to achieve that barring last three overs where we conceded too many runs. We also played power-play a bit slower. That made our work a bit difficult, but in the end we managed it rather easily courtesy to Asif's power hitting."

Asif, who smashed four sixes during his hurricane seven-ball knock, in a virtual conference said he had all the trust in his abilities. "I knew that from this side of the pitch I would be having better chances of finishing the game against Afghanistan. I told Shoaib Malik that let me try to hit all guns blazing from this end where the boundary was a bit shorter. Thank God my hits went according to the plan and we achieved the target with one over to spare."

Asif said he always had that thing in him which could help the team win matches during the last overs. "Though I have achieved such performance many times in the domestic cricket, I hardly got such opportunity in the international cricket. Usually, I land at the wicket with just three to four balls to spare. During the last two matches, I manage to use my potential fully."

The Faisalabad-based batsman praised Misbahul Haq, Babar Azam and other coaches for helping his cause. "Misbah and Babar supported me all these years, knowing that I have the talent for international cricket. That trust is paying off now."

Asif also praised Babar Azam's knock on Friday, saying that he was the one who set up the chase with his fifty. "Babar's knock was of great value for the team. The way he crafted his innings also helped the team achieve the win."