Tayyab Tahir, Pakistan's Emerging Asia Cup hero, says Babar Azam's pep talk inspired him

Tahir’s 71-ball 108 helped Pakistan A defeat India A by a margin of 128 runs in the Emerging Asia Cup final


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Tayyab Tahir. Photo: Twitter
Tayyab Tahir. Photo: Twitter

Published: Mon 24 Jul 2023, 12:13 PM

Pakistan batter Tayyab Tahir became an overnight sensation after he pulled off an impactful century against India A in the Emerging Asia Cup final on Sunday. Pakistan A, thanks to Tahir’s blistering 71-ball 108, defeated their arch-rivals by a margin of 128 runs in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Following the convincing win, Tahir revealed how Pakistan senior team skipper Babar Azam’s pre-match pep talk helped him and his teammates in putting up an excellent show.

“He (Babar) told me to remain calm and easy. He said just enjoy the game and you will win. Obviously, he is a world-class player who has played in many matches like this. He also said we will win the match one-sided and that is what happened,” Tahir said in a Twitter video shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Tahir, who has represented Pakistan in three T20I matches so far, also spoke about his crucial knock. He said, “No one comes into the ground thinking of a hundred. When you are in the 90s, you naturally start to play more carefully but I told myself that it is a big match, so I have to score big as well.”

The 29-year-old was adjudged Player of the Match in the final against India A. Batting first, Pakistan A posted a mammoth total of 352 runs losing eight wickets in 50 overs. Having lost two quick wickets in a span of just 25 runs, Pakistan A found themselves in a precarious situation in the 22nd over. It was Tahir and Mubasir Khan’s vital partnership which eventually helped Pakistan A in reaching a comfortable position.

Tahir looked in phenomenal touch as he breached the three-digit mark in just 66 balls. The 29-year-old brought up his century with a fine boundary in the 44th over of the contest. India A's Rajvardhan Hangargekar managed to pick up the crucial wicket of Tahir in the very next over. Tahir’s spectacular knock comprised 12 boundaries and four sixes.

India A kicked off their run chase with a 64-run opening partnership but Yash Dhull’s men failed to carry forward the momentum. Sufiyan Muqeem scalped three wickets to bowl out India A for 224. The 128-run victory helped the Mohammad Haris-led side in defending their Emerging Asia Cup title.

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