In the end, it was Naseem Shah’s two sixes in the final over that proved to be the deciding factor. It’s possible that there was no alternative outcome that could have been chosen for this match. Pakistan won a thrilling one-wicket triumph in the middle of lots of passion both on and off the field in Sharjah, and as a result, Afghanistan and India were eliminated from the 2022 Asia Cup. The team led by Babar Azam will now compete against Sri Lanka in the championship match on Sunday.
Madness. Pakistan needed to score 45 runs in the final five overs of their innings, but a flurry of wickets caused them to quickly fall from 85/3 to 119/9. Left-arm bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi, who had previously defeated Babar Azam with an inswinger up top, was responsible for two of those wickets taken by the opposition.
When Farooqi had 11 runs to defend in the penultimate over and had Pakistan’s No. 10 and 11 in front of him, it was only logical that Afghanistan appeared to be the favorite. What transpired after that? Both of Farooqi’s attempts at yorkers were unsuccessful, as Naseem hit both of them into the spectator bleachers. After the victory, Babar Azam commented that the opponent brought to mind Javed Miandad.
Because it had previously been played, the pitch did not have the same carry or bounce as the one used for the match between India and Pakistan. Having said that, Afghanistan’s score of 129 at the halfway mark was immediately perceived as being below average. In point of fact, it was one of the lowest totals scored by Afghanistan at this location, where they had previously won 11 out of the previous 16 games prior to this matchup.
Haris Rauf’s two wickets were vital in the team’s ability to limit their scoring, with the first of those being the dismissal of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, which ended the potentially dangerous opening stand of 36 runs. As they have done throughout the Asia Cup, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz took control of the situation during the middle overs and combined to pick 2-50 in the eight overs that they were on the field.
In a manner that was quite similar to how Nawaz was promoted against India, Shadab was given the opportunity to come up the order against Afghanistan. After Pakistan had already played 8.4 overs and was reeling at 45/3, Shadab Khan was brought into the match. Pakistan had just lost its three most reliable batters. He started off slowly, scoring his first eight runs after playing nine balls against Mohammad Nabi in the 12th over before he made his move. However, before Rashid Khan was able to remove him from his position, he had already scored 36 runs off of 26 balls and had even smashed a six off of Rashid Khan.
Fantastic. In the process of defending a low total, they were successful from the get-go and brought Pakistan to the score of 58/3 after 11 overs. The left-arm pacers Farooqi and Fareed Ahmad Malik each took three wickets, Rashid Khan chipped in with two important wickets in the middle overs, and Mujeeb Zadran, who bowled three overs inside the PowerPlay for only five runs, should not be forgotten. Both of these bowlers picked up three wickets each.
On Thursday, the two sides will compete against each other, but the result will not have any bearing on the Asia Cup that is currently being played. However, despite this, both teams would still prefer to get on the board in the Super Four and make the most of the opportunity to sort out their game plan before the crucial Twenty20 World Cup.
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