Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan captain praises Pandya after defeat against India

The way he finished off the game was great, Babar Azam says about the Indian all-rounder

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam shakes hands with Hardik Pandya after the Asia Cup match in Dubai. —AFP
Pakistan captain Babar Azam shakes hands with Hardik Pandya after the Asia Cup match in Dubai. —AFP


Published: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 2:13 AM

After suffering a defeat by five wickets against arch-rivals India in Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam heaped praise on the Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who took Men in Blue to a thrilling victory.

The crucial partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya helped India defeat Pakistan in a thrilling clash by five wickets in the second match of the Asia Cup 2022 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

“He did very well in bowling and in batting as the way he finished off the game was great. According to me, he is a very good all-rounder,” Babar Azam said in a post-match press conference.


“Our only game plan was to take the game as deep as possible. Naseem Shah bowled very well and took crucial wickets for the team. Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish but I think Nawaz should be given credit for performing well in the pressure game. The shortfall remained with our partnership. The toss doesn’t matter, the team’s efforts matter. And my team performed very well. It was a big match for Naseem Shah but still, he did very well. It was his confidence, the way he has shown his advance,” he added.

Chasing 148 runs, India got off to a bad start as they lost their opener, KL Rahul, without even scoring a run. Rahul’s wicket brought Virat Kohli out on the crease, who played his 100th T20I on Sunday.

With one wicket loss, the Indian experienced duo of Rohit Sharma and Kohli played with caution but kept smashing the boundaries to keep the scoreboard running.

Virat Kohli was in red-hot form as he kept smashing boundaries to keep India in a hunt of the run chase. Rohit also opened his hand but his stint was cut short as he was dismissed by Mohammad Nawaz after scoring 12 runs. Star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja then came to bat on the crease.

Nawaz struck again in the same over as he cut short Kohli’s blistering form sending his back to the pavilion after scoring 35 runs in 34 deliveries.

At that point, Kohli’s wicket put India under pressure, but that was instantly eased by Jadeja who smashed Nawaz for a six. After 10 over India’s score read 62/3.

Suryakumar Yadav then joined Jadeja in smashing Pakistan bowlers all around the ground. Both batters played some big shots with grit to keep India’s run chase hunt alive.

Pakistan made a stunning comeback in the match as their bowler Naseem Shah bowled out Suryakumar Yadav after scoring 18 runs in 18 balls. All-rounder Hardik Pandya came to the crease to join hands with Jadeja.

In the 18th over equation for the win went down to 32 runs needed in 18 balls. Jadeja smashed a four and a six in the over.

In the 19th over Pandya smashed three boundaries and took India close to the win as they needed seven runs in six balls. In the last over Nawaz gave a big blow to the Indian team as he dismissed Jadeja after scoring 35 runs in 29 balls.

Dinesh Karthik then came to bat. Pandya then smashed a huge six on the fourth delivery of the last ball and took his team home by five wickets against Pakistan.

Earlier, fiery and tight bowling spells by Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India bundle out Pakistan for 147.

For Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan smashed 43 runs while Iftikhar Ahmed scored 28. Hardik Pandya bagged three wickets while Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped four and Arshdeep Singh took two wickets.

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