In a day of thrillers, Afghanistan lost to Pakistan largely due to a nineteenth-over carnage by Asif Ali. Afghanistan made 147 runs and Pakistan chased down it down with five wickets in hand and six balls to spare
Nabi and Naib rescue Afghanistan
Afghanistan came out of the gates just swinging at everything. The team’s strategy looked simple; just go for big blows. It didn’t pay off much and the team lost 76 runs for 6 wickets in 12.5 Overs. This is where Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib complemented each other well. Nabi anchored the innings whereas Naib went for big shots. The duo added an unbeaten 71 runs for the seventh wicket and led Afghanistan to 147. Both of them scored 35 runs with Nabi taking 32 deliveries while Naib utilizing 25 balls.
Shaheen Shah Afridi conceded just 22 runs for a wicket. Imad Wasim took two wickets for 25 runs. Shadab Khan bowled tightly, giving just 22 runs for a wicket. Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali bowled waywardly, giving a combined 75 runs for a wicket each as Hasan Ali remained once again the most expensive bowler for Pakistan, spending 38 runs. All these bowlers bowled four overs.
Pakistan wobbles but Asif hits out
Pakistan lost Rizwan early as Mujeeb Ur Rahman had him bowled when the score read just 12. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam formed a 63 runs partnership but Fakhar fell to an LBW triggered by Nabi. Hafeez went at the score of 97 to Rashid. After taking 10 runs or so off a Rashid over, Babar Azam fell to a poorly judged shot after making 51 runs off 47 balls. Shoaib Malik followed Babar in the next over.
With Shadab and Asif Ali on the crease, Pakistan required 24 runs in 12 balls after Asif Ali turned down a single off the eighteenth over that would have given Shadab the strike against Karim Janat. What looked like a dubious move did wonders for Pakistan as Asif smoked Janat for four sixes in the over as Janat continued missing his yorkers and gave away full tosses. The dramatic game ended with a six by Asif Ali who flayed one over extra over.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman returned stunning figures of 14 runs in four overs for a wicket. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan cleaned up two wickets for 26 runs in four. Mohammad Nabi had an expensive night, going for 36 runs for a wicket in his quota of four. Karim Janat went for a whopping 48 runs in four overs, largely due to those sixes by Asif. Naveen-ul-Haq did well, conceding 22 runs in three overs for a wicket.