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Pakistan struggle to pip Afghans, cruise into final

Pakistan struggle to pip Afghans, cruise into final

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8 Sep 2022 - 10:03
Pakistan struggle to pip Afghans, cruise into final
author avatar
8 Sep 2022 - 10:03

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan struggled frenetically to pip Afghanistan by one wicket in their Super-4 Asia Cup thriller that literally went down to the wire.

Speedster Naseem Khan plundered 14 runs from four deliveries and powered Pakistan to a sensational win, smacking the first two balls of the last over from Fazal Haq Farooqi for sixes.

The heartbreaking outcome for Afghanistan also sent favourites India crashing out of the tournament, whose final is slated for Sunday (Sept. 11).

Asked to bat first, Afghanistan were bundled out for 129 runs, though they got off to an impressive start, scoring 36 runs off less than four overs.

With the dismissal of opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Afghans lost the momentum and could never recover from the loss, Geo TV reported.

For Afghanistan, Ibrahim Zadran top-scored with a careful 35 off 37 balls. Although his contribution was a tad bit slow, it helped the Afghans post a 129-run total.

Haris Rauf, the pick of Pakistani bowlers, took two wickets for 26 while Naseem Shah had to be content with one scalp. However, he did not allow the opposition to bat freely and conceded only 19 runs.

Pakistan made heavy weather of chasing a modest target, losing nine batters for 119 in 18.5 overs. The batting collapse saw Pakistan fall from 87-3 to 118-9, losing six wickets for 31 runs.

As skipper Babar Azam once again failed, Asif Ali was the last recognised batsman to be sent back to the dugout, but the Afghans failed to capitalise on his exit.

In the last over by Farooqi, Naseem Shah smashed two back-to-back sixes to see Pakistan cruise into the final against Sri Lanka.

It was the shot that triggered a wave of wild celebrations in the Pakistani dressing room– to the chagrin of Afghans, who put up a spirited bowling performance.

Under pressure throughout the nail-biter, Pakistani batsmen appeared to be clueless, but a quick-fire 36 off 26 balls by Shadab Khan Iftikhar Ahmed (30) salvaged them.

Fareed Ahmad (3/31) and Rashid Khan (2/25) bowled impressively for Afghanistan, who are due to square off against India in the last Super-4 match today.


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