Asif Ali blistering cameo powered Pakistan to a five-wicket win over Afghanistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan needed 24 runs in 12 balls but Asif did a Carlos Brathwaite and smashed four sixes to power Pakistan home. Chasing 148, Afghanistan dented Pakistan’s hopes star batter Mohammad Rizwan in the third over. The Green Army stitched a partnership but Afghanistan skipper Nabi brought himself into the attack gave the breakthrough.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam kept fighting and completed his fifty in 45 balls despite losing Mohammad Hafeez in the 15th over. Rashid Khan turned the game in Afghanistan’s favour as he dismissed Babar in the 17th over.
But Asif Ali smashed four sixes in the penultimate over as Pakistan defeated Afghanistan with six balls to spare.
Earlier, opting to bat first Afghanistan got off to the worst possible start as the side lost four wickets inside the powerplay. Karim Janat and Najibullah stitched a 25-run stand to revive Afghanistan innings however Shadab Khan struck as the side lost five wickets before completion of 10 overs.
Skipper Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib scored 35 runs each as Afghanistan fought back after being reduced to 64/5. The side had scored 147/6 in the 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan 147/6 (Mohammad Nabi 35, Gulbadin 35; Imad Wasim 2-25) vs Pakistan 148/5 (Babar Azam 51, Fakhar Zaman30; Rashid Khan 2-26)