Asia Cup 2018, Super Four, Second Match, Pakistan vs Afghanistan – Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Friday, September 21, 2018, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
‘Snatching a win from the jaws of defeat’ – Pakistan experienced just this kind of feeling in their last-over thriller against Afghanistan on Friday (Sep 21). During the chase, the required run rate at one stage climbed to 10 but Shoaib Malik and Pakistan held their nerve to win the game in the final over of the match in a quite thrilling fashion.
With 10 runs to win from the last over, Shoaib Malik hit a six and a four in the second and third deliveries to steer Pakistan home with 7 wickets in hand and with three balls to spare. Having opted to bat first, Afghanistan posted a good total on the board – 257 for 6 in 50 overs. They have got two half centurions in their line-up – Hashmatullah Shahidi left stranded on 97* while captain Asghar Afghan scored 67 runs.
Fakhar Zaman during the chase departed for a 6-ball duck, his second duck on the trot. Imam and Babar then added 154 runs for the second wicket but their snail pace partnership meant that the required run rate went high when both departed. However, Shoaib Malik with his unbeaten half-century took his team home in the final over. Rashid Khan has once again been excellent with three wickets in his 10 overs.
Pakistan’s fielding has been worse in this game as they have dropped as many as five catches – three catches were dropped off debutant Shaheen Afridi’s bowling while the debutant himself dropped two other catches! They were a better fielding side in the last two years but their effort was just appalling in this game against Afghanistan.
Pakistan– 258/7 in 49.3 overs (Imam-ul-Haq – 80, Babar Azam – 66, Rashid Khan – 3/46, Mujeeb ur Rahman – 2/33) beat Afghanistan – 257/6 in 50 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi – 97*, Asghar Afghan – 67, Mohammad Nawaz – 3/57, Shaheen Afridi – 2/38) by 3 wickets
Player of the Match:
Shoaib Malik (Pak) – unbeaten 51* runs off 43 deliveries
Playing XI: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan
Bench:Shan Masood, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf
Playing XI: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Bench:Munir Ahmad, Sayed Shirzad, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Javed Ahmadi, Samiullah Shenwari
** Photo credits to ESPN Cricinfo