SL vs PAK: Pakistan’s Mohammad Nawaz relishing Test return with ‘dream’ five-wicket haul
SL vs PAK: Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz said on Monday that he hoped to top his first five-wicket haul upon returning to Test cricket.
In the first game in Galle, the 28-year-old Nawaz, who only appeared in three Tests for Pakistan in 2016, dazzled with his left-arm spin, damaging the Sri Lankan top and middle order.
At the end of the third day of play, the hosts led by 333 thanks to Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten 86. He had teamed up with leg-spinner Yasir Shah to reduce Sri Lanka to 267 for eight.
“It’s every bowler’s dream to get a five-for in Test cricket and the same goes for me,” Nawaz told reporters.
“I am very happy and I will keep working hard and repeat this kind of performance again.”
Nawaz made his debut in multiple formats in 2016, however his five-day career came to an end in the United Arab Emirates after just three Tests against the West Indies.
With 19 one-day internationals and 30 Twenty20 appearances for the national side, his white-ball reputation has increased, but he says that red-ball cricket is what he enjoys the most.
“I kept on playing first-class cricket, obviously played a lot of white-ball international cricket. But a Test opportunity didn’t come my way,” Nawaz said of his cricketing journey.
“Focus was to play red-ball cricket which makes you grow as a player. My 2022 red-ball season at home was good as I made over 700 runs and took 28-29 wickets.
“I’m happy to bowl well on my comeback and hoping to turn up with the bat as well.”
In order to chase down a target that already appears to be difficult. Babar Azam’s Pakistan will need to bowl out Sri Lanka, who were 329-9 at stumps on the fourth day.
Nawaz, however, is still optimistic about Pakistan’s batting. That rallied from 87-5 to finish only four runs short of Sri Lanka’s 222 in the first innings.
“They have put up a good total, looking at the conditions, but it’s not impossible,” he said.
“As a batting unit if we get two-three good partnerships then it will be achievable I think.”
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