In a remarkable performance, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in the second T20I match, taking a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The victory at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE was Afghanistan’s first against a top-six-ranked ICC team in a series. Pakistan chose to bat first, but their inexperienced top-order struggled, with Imad Wasim’s unbeaten 64 off 57 balls and captain Shadab Khan’s 32 boosting the final total to 130-6.
Afghanistan Clinches Unassailable 2-0 Lead Against Pakistan in T20I Series with Impressive Run-Chase
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (44) and Ibrahim Zadran (38) led Afghanistan’s chase, with Najibullah Zadran’s quick unbeaten 23 and Mohammad Nabi’s 14 not out guiding the team to 133-3 with a ball to spare. “It’s a great honor and pleasure to lead this wonderful team,” said Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan. “Great effort with the ball, and then we took it deep and finished it. We have players to finish it like Nabi and Najib.”
Needing 22 off the last two overs, Najibullah and Nabi hit a six each in Naseem Shah’s penultimate over, which went for 17 and effectively ended Pakistan’s hopes. Afghanistan’s impressive run-chase was a testament to their skill and determination, securing a well-deserved victory.
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Afghanistan Clinches a Memorable Six-Wicket Win Over Pakistan in T20I. Afghanistan put up an exceptional performance on Friday, pinning down Pakistan to 92-9 and recording a memorable six-wicket victory. Pakistan continued to struggle against Afghanistan’s pace and spin, with their top-order collapsing in the absence of five, rested front-line players, including Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, on Sharjah’s slow wickets.
Pakistan’s Saim Ayub made his T20 debut but edged behind the second ball of the game from Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-19). Abdullah Shafique was trapped leg-before wicket by Farooqi, becoming the first men’s batter in T20 history to record a fourth straight duck, leaving Pakistan at 0-2. Mohammad Haris (15) and Tayyab Tahir (13) also struggled to gauge the wicket well, and Azam Khan (1) was out lbw as Pakistan slipped to 63-5 in 11 overs.
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Imad Wasim (41) and Shadab Khan (21) put up a 67-run stand, but Imad was run out off the last ball while going for a second run. Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz (31) made a powerful start by smashing Naseem Shah (0-39) for a six and a boundary in the first over, adding 56 runs with Ibrahim Zadran (30). Gurbaz was run out, and Ibrahim was caught behind in the 18th over, but Najibullah Zadran (17) and Mohammad Nabi (6) sealed the game with their belligerent hitting against Naseem in the penultimate over.
“When you lose three wickets in the powerplay, you lose 70 percent of the games … The young players were nervous. They are playing for the first time for Pakistan, but we have to back them,” said Pakistan captain Shadab. Afghanistan’s impressive performance has undoubtedly set the tone for an exciting game.
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