Misbah-ul-Haq’s scoop shot off Joginder Sharma that landed safely in the palms of S Sreesanth to seal victory for India in the final of the 2007 T20 World Cup is a memory not many Indian cricket fans will be able to forget. Misbah, having almost single-handedly kept Pakistan alive in the final in the later stages of the match, tried to scoop a Joginder delivery over fine leg with six runs needed, only to be caught by Sreesanth. The former Pakistan captain recently recalled the incident while speaking to ex-teammate Shoaib Akhtar on the latter’s YouTube channel.
Misbah said that he got overconfident about the shot, having used it to his benefit throughout the tournament.
“About 2007, I always say that throughout every game during that World Cup, I scored so many fours playing that shot. Even when the fine leg was behind against Australia, I was taking singles against fast bowlers while playing that shot. I had that much confidence. Against spinners, I used to beat fine leg with that shot. So you can say I got overconfident and I mishit the shot on which I had the most confidence,” said Misbah.
Asked about the loss to India in the 2011 ODI World Cup semi-finals in Mohali, Misbah said, “About 2011, I always try to explain that on that Mohali pitch, India had scored 44 runs in four overs. As the ball got older, it started to reverse, it started gripping and it got harder to score runs. Sachin (Tendulkar), if I remember correctly, scored 80-something (85) off 113 balls and and he was named man of the match.”
Misbah said that it got harder to score runs after the initial overs in that 2011 semi-final.
“After scoring 50 from the first four overs, India were struggling and were 160/6. The pitch was such that we had also scored around 80 runs in the first 15 overs for the loss of one wicket. (Mohammad) Hafeez and Asad Shafeeq were playing. In the next five overs, we hardly scored 10 runs and lost three wickets,” he explained.
“There was Yuvraj (Singh) at one end, Harbhajan (Singh) at the other, and then fast bowlers also came in. Singles were the most difficult. Either you hit it out or try and dig in. We tried to put a partnership together and get as many runs off the last five overs of power-play. But if you look back, I got to play just around two of those last five overs.”
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