Pakistan scored an unbeaten 25 not out with captain Babar Azam (51) hitting a half-century and Asif Ali’s seven-ball four sixes to beat Afghanistan by five in a Group II match of the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Friday. registered. Pakistan’s team is on top in Group II with six points from three wins. Chasing Afghanistan’s score of 147 for six, the Pakistani team was looking in trouble at one point of time but ‘Player of the Match’ Asif Ali hit four sixes in the 19th over to give his team victory with an over. Afghanistan took the wicket of Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan (08) in the third over.
Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman shared a 63-run partnership for the second wicket. Thanks to these two, Pakistan had 72 runs in one wicket in 10 overs and they had to make 76 runs in the next 60 balls. Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi put Rashid Khan to bowl in the 11th over, on his appeal on the last ball, the umpire raised a finger to dismiss Babar Azam but the Pakistani captain survived the review. In the next over, the umpire raised a finger to dismiss Zaman on the ball of Nabi and again a review was taken, but Zaman was out lbw. Thus ended the 52-ball half-century partnership between Babar Azam and Zaman for the second wicket.
Rashid completed the fastest 100 wickets in T20 International cricket by taking the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez (10) in his third over. Babar Azam then completed his fifty in 45 balls which included four fours. Rashid (2 for 26) took his second wicket by bowling Babar Azam off the last ball of his spell. Now in three overs, Pakistan needed 26 runs to win. Experienced Shoaib Malik (19 runs, 15 balls, one four and one six) caught the wicket-keeper by touching the bat on Naveen-ul-Haq’s off-stump delivery. 24 runs were needed from 12 balls in the last two overs. Asif Ali’s four fours helped Pakistan win 148 for five in 19 overs.
Earlier, despite losing four wickets in the powerplay in front of Pakistan’s brilliant bowling attack, Afghanistan’s team finally scored 147 for six with an unbeaten 45-ball 71 for the seventh wicket between captain Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib. managed to stand. Afghanistan added the highest 21 runs of the innings in the 18th over in which Naib hit a six and two fours. Naib (four fours and a six in 25 balls) and Nabi (five fours in 32 balls) both scored 35-35 not out. Thanks to these two, Afghanistan added 43 runs in the last three overs. Imad Wasim took two wickets for 25 runs for Pakistan. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Harris Rauf, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan got one wicket each. In front of the brilliant bowling of Pakistan, Afghanistan lost the wickets of four of their players for 49 runs in the powerplay.
Pakistan took one wicket each in the second and third overs. First Imad Wasim got the wicket of Hazrat Jazai who could not even open the account. In the next over, Mohammad Shahzad hit fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi for the first four of the innings at extra cover, but after a ball he was caught by Babar Azam at mid-on and the score was 13 for two. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Asghar Afghan (10) added 17 runs to the team’s score by hitting a lofty six each in the fourth over. Harris Rauf, who took four wickets in the previous match against New Zealand, ended Asghar Afghan’s seven-ball innings with a catch off his own ball.
Coming to the crease, Karim Janat (15 runs, 17 balls, a four and a six) hit Rauf for a six behind third man after playing two balls. But on the first ball of the last over of the powerplay, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (10 runs, seven balls, one six) fell victim to Hasan Ali’s delivery. Janat and Najibullah Zadran (22 runs) added only 25 runs for the fifth wicket that Imad Wasim gave Afghanistan the fifth blow. In an attempt to sweep his slow ball, Janat was caught out. With this, after 10 overs, Afghanistan’s score was 65 for five. Jadran’s innings on his googly (21 balls, three fours, one six) ended after Shadab Khan hit a brilliant six. Afghanistan’s score was 104 for six in the 17th over but Nabi and Naib helped the team reach a respectable score.