India, Afghanistan out as Pakistan beats Afghanistan in a last-over roller-coaster in the Asia Cup

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Pakistan makes it into the final of the Asia Cup 2022

Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 1 wicket in a nail-biting final over thriller at Sharjah to confirm their spot in the final of Asia Cup 2022, leaving India and Afghanistan out of the tournament.

Chasing a target of 130 in the second innings, Pakistan held on to their nerves to beat Afghanistan by 1 wicket and confirm their spot in the final of Asia Cup 2022. 

Needing 11 in the final over, the tail-ender Naseem Shah came out of nowhere and smashed two maximums in the first two balls of the final over to break the hearts of Afghani fans.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Haris Rauf bowled a brilliant spell as Pakistan restricted their opposition to 129 for 6 in the Super 4s stage at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which is famous for Pakistan last over victories.

Haris returned with the figures of 26/2 as Afghanistan failed to take on their solid start of the innings led by Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

Following Haris, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hasnain and Mohammad Nawaz bagged a single wicket each. 

From Afghanistan, Ibrahim Zadran played a crucial 35 run knock while Zazai scored 21 to take their side towards a decent total.

Babar Azam, winning captain:

To be honest, the dressing room was very tense. The team was walking in and out of the dressing room…In our batting, we didn’t execute our plans very well, but Naseem was outstanding. AInthe back of my mind, I have seen Naseem play like this earlier, and I had the belief in him. This moment reminds me of Javed Miandad’s six. We would like to continue this momentum and not repeat our mistakes. Every day is a different day, and we would like to take it day by day. 

Shadab Khan:

It has been going well. We have the experience because of the PSL and the home series that we played here. I didn’t see a lot of difference in the pitch. It was a bit low and it was a good pitch. I played a rash shot, and I should have finished it off. It was tough for the new batsmen and so I should have played longer…The world has not seen his full potential with the bat yet. Naseem’s sixes remind us of Miandad’s and Afridi’s last-over sixes. All our bowlers bat a lot in the nets. You never know which bowler will win you matches; all of them have the calibre to win you matches with the bat.

Mohammad Nabi, losing captain:

Yes the bowling and the fielding was brilliant, but we didn’t finish well and we didn’t hold our nerves. We didn’t leave the game at any stage. The boys fought over every ball. Again, it was the end, both with the bat and with the ball…The plan on the last two deliveries was to bowl slower bouncers or bowl yorkers, but he (Farooqi) didn’t execute his plans. We will try our best to play the last game with the same energy. We have a game tomorrow now. Thanks for the support, it was lovely from the fans here.

Pakistan 131 for 9 (Shadab 36, Fareed 3-31, Farooqi 3-31) beat Afghanistan 129 for 6 (Ibrahim 35, Rauf 2-26, Naseem 1-19) by one wicket.

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