Dubai, Oct 29 (IANS) Riding on fighting knocks by Mohammad Nabi (35 off 32) and Gulbadin Naib (35 off 25), Afghanistan posted a total of 147/6 against Pakistan in a super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Friday.
Apart from Nabi and Naib, Najibullah Zadran (22) and Karim Janat (15) also made important contributions with the bat for Afghanistan.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Afghanistan produced one of the most entertaining powerplays of the tournament so far. While they scored 49 in the first 6 overs, Pakistan managed to bag four wickets.
Hazratullah Zazai (0) was the first one to get dismissed in the 2nd over of the innings as he charged Imad Wasim but only managed to top edge to Haris Rauf, who took a good tumbling catch. Mohammad Shahzad (8) hit Afghanistan’s first boundary but he fell trying to take Shaheen Shah Afridi on again.
Thereafter, Asghar Afghan (10) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (10) provided some respite, taking 17 runs off Imad’s second over, including two sixes and a four. However, both batters fell within five balls, with Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali getting wickets respectively.
Najibullah Zadran (22) and Karim Janat (15) steadied the ship with a 25-run partnership that went at just over a run-a-ball. Despite a couple of quiet overs, they made up their run rate by striking two fours off Hassan Ali and Shadab Khan. Just when it looked like Afghanistan had a launching pad in the middle overs, Janat got out to Wasim as Afghanistan lost half their side inside the first ten overs.
Zadran, who looked in fine touch, was then dismissed by Shadab Khan, leaving Afghanistan in deep trouble at 76 for 6 in 13 overs. From there, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib took the responsibility and guided their side to 101/6 after the 16th over.
Both Nabi and Gulbadin Naib then targeted Hasan Ali in the 18th over and scored 21 runs off this over. They hit a few more bounadries and took 15 runs in the 19th over bowled by Rauf. Overall, both Gulbadin and Nabi did some insane hitting in the death overs, had an unbroken 71-run partnership, and guided Afghanistan to a respectable total of 147 for 6 in 20 overs.
Imad Wasim was Pakistan’s standout bowler with two wickets for 25 runs while Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, and Shadab Khan bagged a wicket each.
Afghanistan 147 for 6 in 20 overs (Gulbadin 35, Mohammad Nabi 35; Imad Wasim 2/25) against Pakistan