Sharjah, Sep 7 (IANS) Pakistan held their nerves to beat Afghanistan by 1 wicket in a Super Four match to reach the final of the Asia Cup 2022 and knock India out of the tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here on Wednesday.
After this win, Pakistan will now face Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup. On the other hand, it was curtains for Afghanistan and India – as both teams lost their two consecutive Super Four matches and will now face each other in a dead rubber on Thursday.
Pakistan produced a terrific bowling performance to restrict Afghanistan to 129/6 in 20 overs.
Ibrahim Zadran (35 off 37) was the top-scorer for Afghanistan while Hazratullah Zazai (21 off 17), Rashid Khan (18 off 15), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (17 off 11) were the other main contributors with the bat.
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf was the pick of bowlers with figures of 2/26, while Naseem Shah (1/19), Mohammad Nawaz (1/23), Shadab Khan (1/27), Mohammad Hasnain (1/34) picked one wicket each.
Chasing a small total, Shadab Khan (36 off 26), Iftikhar Ahmed (30 off 33), Mohammad Rizwan (20 off 26) played crucial knocks but Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Eventually, Pakistan needed 11 runs in 6 balls to win. Farooqi crumbled under pressure in the final over as Naseem Shah found the sweet spot on his bat twice, hitting back to back sixes, leading Pakistan to a thrilling one wicket win, with four balls to spare.
Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/31), Fareed Ahmad Malik (3/31),Rashid Khan (2/25) were the wicket-takers for Afghanistan.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 129 for 6 in 20 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 35, Hazratullah Zazai 21; Haris Rauf 2/26) lost to Pakistan 131-9 in 19.2 overs (Shadab Khan 36, Iftikhar Ahmed 30; Fazalhaq Farooqi 3/31), Fareed Ahmad Malik 3/31) by 1 wickets.