Asia Cup 2022: Naseem Shah will remember these sixes for rest of his career, says Shadab Khan

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Asia Cup 2022: Naseem Shah will remember these sixes for rest of his career, says Shadab Khan
Asia Cup 2022: Naseem Shah will remember these sixes for rest of his career, says Shadab Khan

Asia Cup 2022: Naseem Shah will remember these sixes for rest of his career, says Shadab Khan

Asia Cup 2022: Naseem Shah will remember those two sixes for the rest of his career, says Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan, after his team’s thrilling one-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the Super Four phase of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022.

Team India is no longer in the running for the championship after Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by one wicket in a thrilling Super Four match on Wednesday. Naseem Shah’s two back-to-back sixes in the first two balls of the final over overcame some outstanding bowling by Afghanistan earlier in the innings.

“We were confident that our bowlers could bat. Because they were batting for long, management had given them a role because you can need your bowlers to deliver with the bat sometimes. Naseem will remember these two sixes for the rest of his career,” said Shadab in a post-match press conference.

Shadab concurred that the games in the current Asia Cup have been thrilling.

“I can play such matches, but cannot watch them,” he quipped.

On Asif Ali’s heated argument with Afghanistan bowler Fareed Malik that saw Ali raising his bat at him and the bowler shoving him, Shadab said, “These teams happen in heat of the moment. Because both of the teams are playing to win. These should be forgotten then and there only.”

After making a rash shot that led to his ejection, Shadab expressed regret and claimed he should have continued the game.

“We should have finished the match much before. We were confident. Good teams should not undergo such collapses. I played a rash shot, I should have finished. I made a mistake. But if I get another chance, I will finish the game. We hope that such things do not happen again,” said the all-rounder.

Coming to the match, despite scoring only 129/6 on the board, Afghanistan would be overjoyed with the outstanding bowling of Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/31) and Fareed Ahmad Malik (3/31). They nearly gave their team a victory, but Naseem’s two sixes in the final over gave Pakistan the victory. Shadab Khan (36) and Iftikhar Ahmed (30) made significant contributions for Pakistan. There will be a final between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Pakistan, who was attempting to reach 130, got off to a bad start when its captain, Babar Azam, was lost for a golden duck. Azam’s terrible performance in the competition persisted, and he made history by becoming the first captain in Asia Cup history to have a registered golden duck.

Soon after, Pakistan lost another wicket when left-hander Fakhar Zaman was run out by Najibullah Zadran for 5, dropping them to 18/2.

Following this, Pakistani batsmen Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed rebuilt their team’s innings while maintaining the scoreboard’s momentum. Pakistan had Iftikhar Ahmed (13*) and Mohammad Rizwan (15*) at 35/2 after six overs.

By trapping Rizwan lbw for 20 points off of 26 balls, Rashid Khan gave Afghanistan their third wicket of the game and his first of the game. At 45/3, Pakistan was in serious trouble. Shadab Khan joined him on the crease as Ifthikhar Ahmed continued. Pakistan was at 52/3 after 10 over, with Shadab (6*) and Iftikhar (19*).

As they continued to bat, Shadab and Iftikhar displayed responsible cricket by hitting mishit balls over the fence. Pakistan was reinstated into the competition by them.

Pakistan was at 85/3 after 15 over, with both batsman scoring 29*.

A 42-run partnership between the two came to an end when Iftikhar was removed for 30 off 32 pitches. Ibrahim Zadran was caught at deep midwicket by Fareed Ahmad, who then took the wicket. Pakistan had 87/4 in 15.3 overs at this point.

Mohammad Nawaz, an all-arounder, entered the field next. Pakistan needed 39 runs as the final four overs began.

After striking a stunning six to begin the following Rashid over, Shadab was caught by Azmatullah and removed by Rashid for 36 runs off 26 balls. At 97 runs, half of the Pakistani team had returned to the hut. Nawaz’s replacement at bat, Asif Ali, began his inning with a six. At this moment, Pakistan needed 25 off the remaining three overs.

By catching Nawaz leg before wicket for four points off of five balls, Fazalhaq Farooqi helped Afghanistan maintain their outstanding comeback in the game. Pakistan’s score was 105-6. With his excellent bowling, Farooqi kept up the pressure on Pakistan, removing the stumps of new batsman Khusdil Shah with the last ball of the over. Pakistan needed 21 runs from the final two overs after 18 overs had bowled.

The Pakistan team then sent out Haris Rauf. However, Fareed Ahmad clean bowled him for a duck to claim his second wicket of the game.

Asif, who was out of partners at the other end, was the next to join. Naseem Shah. After the dangerman, Asif Ali, caught by Karim Janat for 16 off 8 balls, Fareed Ahmad secured his third wicket of the game.

With Pakistan needing 11 runs in the last over, Mohammad Hasnain was the last Pakistani player to arrive at the crease.

With a stunning six to start the next over, Naseem Shah cut the required runs to five off five balls. He also struck the following ball, a full toss, for a six, giving his nation a one-wicket victory.

Farooqi was Afghanistan’s leading bowler with 3/25. Additionally, Fareed Ahmad Malik took a great 3/31. As well, Rashid Khan claimed two wickets.

In the earlier Super Four match at the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah on Wednesday, Afghanistan held to a pitiful 129/6 in their 20 overs thanks to some outstanding bowling by the Pakistan team.

Pakistan played well with the ball because they prevented the formation of any significant partnerships.

Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz of Afghanistan got their team off to a strong start when Pakistan sent them in to bat first. Both batters had an aggressive stance appropriate for the powerplay. In the second over, Gurbaz struck bowler Mohammad Hasnain for two consecutive sixes.

Pakistan’s first success was thanks to the pacer Haris Rauf. Gurbaz, who was a threat, was caught for 17 off 11 balls by him. Before Gurbaz could slog the ball, his off-stump was knocked out of place.

The next player on the crease was Ibrahim Zadran. Hasnain quickly dismissed Hazratullah Zazai for 21 off 17 balls. Hasnain took away his leg-stump despite the fact that he had hit four good boundaries and appeared fantastic. Before the powerplay, Afghanistan lost their second wicket with a score of 43 runs.

The player after Karim Janat was on the crease. With Zadran (5*) and Janat (2*), Afghanistan had 48/2 at the end of the power play in six overs. Afghanistan faced the difficulty of finishing the first half of their innings with a respectable score after two early wickets reduced their run flow.

Janat and Zadran supported their team in doing precisely that by maintaining the scoreboard with a few singles and boundaries. With Janat (15*) and Zadran (16*), Afghanistan had scored 72/2 in the allotted 10 overs.

At 35 runs, a promising stand came to an abrupt end when Janat attempted a big hit over long-on but caught by Fakhar Zaman. Mohammad Nawaz, a spinner, took his maiden wicket as Janat returned to the pavilion for 15 from 19 balls. Afghanistan was currently 78/3.

The other Zadran followed by Najibullah Zadran. In the 14th over, Najibullah attempted to dominate the spinner Shadab Khan with a six, but the bowler ultimately triumphed, forcing the batter to walk back for 10 from 11 balls after Fakhar collected another catch.

The very next ball resulted in the dismissal of the captain, Mohammad Nabi. First wicket of the game for pacer Naseem Shah. The ball made contact with the inside edge of his bat before striking his stumps. By 91/5, half of Afghanistan had returned to the tent.

With Zadran (26*) and Omarzai (1*), Afghanistan had 93/5 after 15 overs.

Ibrahim joined by Azmatullah Omarzai in the chase. Ibrahim’s six enabled Afghanistan to reach 100 runs in 15.3 overs.

As the game entered the last overs, Zadran appeared to be crucial to Afghanistan’s chances, but he dismissed for 35 from 37 balls by Rauf after caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan.

The next person to the crease was Rashid Khan. Afghanistan’s hitters came under increasing pressure from Pakistan, who also did not provide them with many opportunities to score runs. With a four and a six in the penultimate over, Rashid Khan did relieve some strain, but Afghanistan still finished with a below-par total of 129/6 in their 20 overs. Azmatullah Omarzai completed his cameo with 10*, then Rashid Khan played a strong cameo of 18* off 15 balls.

The most effective bowler for Pakistan was the pacer Haris Rauf, who had a four-over burst of 2/26. For Pakistan, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, and Shadab Khan each claimed one wicket.