Naseem Shah ran half a mile on the field, his hands swaying, threw his bat away, removed his helmet, and threw it like he had 10 more in the kit bag. Hasan Ali in his blue apron had ran out to him till then from the dugout. The two had a moment.
Naseem then threw his gloves off. The entire Pakistan team was out to celebrate the win. This wasn’t the first time a team has celebrated a win in such a manner.
But every time a team celebrates as such, it does become iconic. Pakistan had beaten Afghanistan in the closest of the matches in this Asia Cup. More importantly, Pakistan had ensured an India knock-out from the tournament.
The celebrations were obvious. Afghanistan had been brilliant throughout the night with the ball. They made a target of 130 look like 180, and going into the final over, were deemed to be the winners with just one wicket remaining to be dismissed.
Azalhaq Farooqi, who had a brilliant day, had picked up three crucial wickets in his first three overs and shared only 19 runs. But cricket is a leveler, as we have repeatedly seen in the tournament. Pakistan promotes Nawaz to 4; he becomes Man-Of-The-Match,Pakistan promotes Shadab to 5; he becomes Man-Of-The-Match.
For the billionth time, flexible batting orders, matchups & low-value-wickets work in T20 cricket. So impressive to see Pakistan doing it. — Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) September 7, 2022For once, fans from three teams would have been glued to the screens, but the team that didn’t have the additional support, went on to win the match.
Ideally, there is no talking point apart from Naseem Shah’s two sixes, but as a ritual, we have added four more. Naseem Shah’s game-changing sixesPakistan had lost nine wickets. Pakistan needed 11 runs in six balls.
That is when the green army’s number 11 batter tonked two huge hits straight over the bowler’s head. The first one ensured tides on the sight screen curtain. The second one made Rashid Khan – fielding at long off – stretch like he was the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards.
Only he wasn’t and that sealed the game for Pakistan. Farooqi who was brilliant in the 18th over, missed the Yorkers by a few inches, maybe centimeters and the Naseem ensured to convert those into full toss to be smashed out of the park. Ravi Shastri designated Naseem as an all-rounder after the match, who was till then certified as a number 11.
Afghanistan’s dynamic powerplayAfghanistan started the powerplay in a dramatic fashion as Hazratullah Zazai was beaten on the very first delivery from Naseem Shah. Pakistan discussed a review, but decided against it at the end. After a tidy first over, the second over was taken over the park with Gurbaz hitting back-to-back sixes off Mohammad Hasnain.
Afghanistan tried to play at a brisk rate in the power play and hit four 4s and two 6s ending their powerplay on 48 runs, but also lost two wickets on the way. Haris Rauf broke Gurbaz’s furniture first up in the fourth over and Hasnain repeated what Rauf had started six balls later, bowling out Zazai. What a match! We couldn’t have asked for a bigger thriller ????Congratulations Pakistan ???????? on an unbelievable victory, and advancing into the FINALS of the DP World #AsiaCup 2022 ????????#AFGvPAK #ACC #GetReadyForEpic pic.
twitter. com/RhtpuOXWh4— AsianCricketCouncil (@ACCMedia1) September 7, 2022Pakistan’s economic bowlingPakistan had already shown the might of their bowling in the group stage when they took India to the last over in a chase of 148 and then bundled Hong Kong for 38 runs in the second match. In another important contest, Pakistan restricted Afghanistan to a below-par 129, despite a good score in the first half of the innings.
Afghanistan had 72/2 on the board after 10 overs. But Pakistan choked the Afghan middle order and lower order as they could manage only 57 runs in the last 10 overs. If you think that’s bad, 10 runs of those 57 had come in the last over.
None of the bowlers went more than 9 runs per over, with 8. 5 economy of Mohammad Hasnain being the worst of the lot. Babar Azam’s continued poor runBabar Azam came into the tournament as the world’s number one batter but has been in very poor form since the start, failing to exceed 14 that came in the Super four stage match against India.
To add to the misery, Babar was dismissed for a golden duck against Afghanistan after a good length delivery from Fazalhaq Farooqi remained a bit low and plumbed him LBW. His scores so far have been 9, 10, 14, and 0 summing up to 33 in four innings. Hearth break for Afghanistan [email protected]
conceded two sixes in two balls as Afghanistan lost the match by 1 wicket.
????#AfghanAtalan | #AsiaCup2022 | #AFGvPAK pic. twitter. com/7eJQlxRcPv— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) September 7, 2022Afghanistan’s spinners spin a webDespite a low score, Afghan spinners spun a web around the Pakistan batters and never allowed them to get off the hook as they combined to give runs at less than six per over and scalped two important wickets in the middle overs.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman was excellent bowling three overs in the powerplay and giving just five runs. He ended his spell with figures of none for 12. Veteran Rashid Khan, on the other hand, was at his excellent best as he dismissed Mohammad Rizwan in the ninth over and then Shadab Khan in the 17th over.
He ended his four over with figures of 2/ 25 which would have been far lesser had he been not smashed for two sixes on either side of Shadab Khan’s wicket. Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News, India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.