Skipper Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib’s unbeaten knocks in a splendid rearguard motion had steered Afghanistan to a aggressive 147 for six after they have been gasping at 76 for six.
Scorecard | As it happened | Points Table
Pakistan overhauled the goal in 19 overs, a victory which consolidated their high spot within the factors desk and enhanced their semifinal probabilities with minnows Scotland and Namibia up subsequent for them.
His facet needing 24 runs from the final two overs, Asif Ali (25 off 7 balls) completed the job in nineteenth over, hitting 4 sixes off Karim Jannat.
Pakistan misplaced Mohammad Rizwan (8) to Mujeeb Ur Rahman early of their chase however Azam and Fakhar Zaman (30) saved the innings below management with their 63-run stand.
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Mujeeb was distinctive upfront for Afghanistan as he conceded solely 14 runs in his four-over spell however Pakistan batters scored runs off different bowlers.
World’s high leg-spinner Rashid Khan carried Afghanistan’s hopes however by the point he got here to bowl Pakistan had put 72 runs on board in 10 overs.
His magic was at work although as he removed Mohammad Hafeez (10) to finish a century of wickets in T20 Internationals.
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He gave away solely 26 runs in his 4 overs with a lot of the Pakistan batters taking part in him with warning.
Shoaib Malik (19) although launched Rashid for an enormous six in his final over wherein Azam was dropped by Naveen ul haq. Nonetheless, the Pakistan skipper was bowled off a googly within the final ball.
Azam’s 47-ball knock had solely 4 pictures to the fence as he principally moved the ball round.
Malik ended up caught behind when he flashed arduous on a widish ball from Naveen, giving a straightforward catch to Mohammad Shahzad. Asif was on the crease and he didn’t disappoint his facet.
Earlier, Pakistan’s expansive assault dominated the proceedings however Nabi (35) and Naib (35) seized the momentum with their big-hearted effort below strain and prevented it from changing into a one-sided contest.
They added 71 runs in 7.1 overs with 43 coming within the final three overs.
It began once they creamed 21 runs from the seventeenth over bowled by Hasan Ali. Collectively they hit 10 boundaries.
Nonetheless, initially Shaheen Afridi’s probing yorkers, Haris Rauf’s variation and the management of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan examined the batters of Afghanistan, who opted to bat.
Pacer Afridi created strain on Afghan batters straightaway along with his toe-targeting fiery first over and left-arm spinner Wasim adopted that up with one other tight over upfront.
The dot-ball strain bought the higher of Hazratullah Zazai (0), who went after Wasim and ended up giving a catch to Haris Rauf.
Mohammad Shahzad (8) lifted Afridi’s overpitched ball within the cowl area to get the primary boundary of the crew however couldn’t clear the mid-on one ball later to start out his stroll again to the dugout.
Realising that it will likely be troublesome to attain off Afridi, former skipper Asghar Afghan (10) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (10) focused Wasim and picked up 17 runs from his subsequent over, each hitting him for a six every.
Nonetheless, Afghan’s keep was reduce brief by Rauf whereas Gurbaz was despatched again by Hasan Ali.
Afghan’s youthful brother Jannat (15) got here to the crease and along with Najibullah Zadran (22) had the accountability to maintain afloat his facet, which was tottering at 39 for 4 inside Powerplay overs.
It saved getting worse for Afghanistan as neither the runs got here at tempo they usually saved shedding wickets.
Jannat and Zadran have been scalped by Wasim and Shadab respectively, leaving Nabi with a troublesome process to place sufficient runs on the board to defend, which he did with Naib.