In their second match of the super four stage of Asia Cup, Green Shirts defeated Afghanistan by 1 wicket and 4 balls remaining.
Pakistan had won the toss and elected to field first. In the first innings Pakistani bowlers, in an outstanding display of skills, limited the Afghan batting line to 129 at a loss of 6 wickets.
However, chasing a mere target of 130 proved quite difficult for the batting line-up of Pakistan against the outstanding performance of Afghan bowlers. Babar Azam remained out of form as he got out for 0 runs with an LBW. Fakhar Zaman couldn’t hold for long either, as he was able to score just 5 runs for 9 balls, before getting run out in the fourth over. By the end of the power play, Pakistan cricket team stood at 35 runs at the loss of two wickets.
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Even Muhammad Rizwan could not perform at par against Afghanistan as he got out at 20 runs for 26 balls. After the loss of third wicket, Pakistani batsmen tried to gain control of the game with a 42-runs partnership between Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed. That partnership brought some stability to the game, however, it didn’t hold long as the batters of Pakistan started to fall like dominoes after Iftikhar Ahmed. Naseem Shah, who came in at 10th, emerged as the star finisher of the game as he won the match for Pakistan in a seemingly impossible situation with 2 back-to-back sixes in the final over.
6️⃣ 6️⃣ 🔥
Unbelievable end to the #AsiaCup2022 game!
Naseem Shah wins it for Pakistan in the final over with one wicket left 😯#PAKvAFG | #AsiaCup2022 | Scorecard: https://t.co/4ppyUfkluv pic.twitter.com/F1A0B3DoSC
— ICC (@ICC) September 7, 2022
Shadab Khan was declared player of the match for outstanding performance both in batting and bowling. In the first inning he got 1 wicket for 27 runs and in the second inning he scored 36 runs off 26 balls.
On the other hand, while Afghanistan’s batsmen could not perform very well, their bowlers outclassed Pakistan’s batting lineup as they made the chase of just 130 runs tough for Pakistan. Fareed Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi of Afghanistan, sent three batsmen each back to the pavilion, while Rashid Khan got two wickets.
Pakistan will now face Sri Lanka on Friday, while Afghanistan will face India on Thursday. However, both the matches will not affect the final which is scheduled on Sunday in Dubai, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka have qualified for it as they hold a clear lead over Afghanistan and India in the points table.
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