Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and middle-order batter Mohammad Nawaz are pleased with the way the team's middle-order -- one of the weakest links in the side -- is shaping up ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, with the duo saying it has given the side plenty of confidence going into the mega-event, beginning in a few days.
Pakistan on Friday clinched the Tri-series defeating hosts New Zealand in the final by five wickets, with the middle-order, comprising Mohammad Nawaz (38 not out), Haider Ali (31) and Iftikhar Ahmed (25 not out) setting up the team's victory as they chased down a 163-run target to clinch the title heading into the T20 World Cup in Australia.
"The way our team played deserves all the credit. The bowlers were brilliant at the death. The way the middle order played was outstanding. Haider and Nawaz are outstanding, so we need to step up and perform," said Babar Azam.
Mohammad Nawaz, who was adjudged 'Player of the Match', said having faith in his abilities helped him clear his mind and bat with confidence in the middle overs. Nawaz's unbeaten 22-ball 38 was embellished with two boundaries and three sixes with a strike rate touching 173.
"I just backed myself in both days. Tried to display what I'd practiced in the nets with a clear mind. Batting in the middle order has helped a lot, backing myself and going with the plan was key," said Nawaz.
Nawaz though conceded the cold weather in Christchurch was a real challenge for the side.
"The weather has been very cold, was tough to adapt from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We are looking forward to the World Cup now."
(With inputs from IANS)