Overconfident Pakistan succumbs to an on-the-rise Afghanistan: Player Ratings for the visitors
Afghanistan’s grit was too good for Pakistan, as they avoided whitewash after winning the last T20I of the three-match series. The series ended 2-1 in favour of the Afghans, as Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi led their side to a record-breaking series victory over arch-rivals.
Pakistan had decided to rest their first-team stars after the completion of the PSL season. The likes of Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Shaheen Shah Afridi were rested. Moreover, the captaincy role was passed on to Shadab Khan, in the absence of Babar.
Afghanistan was off to a dream start in the series after winning the first two matches, thereby clinching the series with one game to play. Pakistan made a consolation comeback in the series after an impressive display in the third T20I.
We look at the performances of Pakistani players throughout the T20I Series:
Saim Ayub (4/10): Left-hander Ayub failed to hit the ground running for the first two games, as he got dismissed for 17 and 0, respectively. However, the debutant impressed in the last match, after he just missed out on his maiden half-century by one run. He played with composure in the final game and is one to look out for in future tournaments.
Mohammad Haris (2/10): Young but experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Haris could not impress the fans as he scored 22 runs in all three matches combined at a strike rate of just under a hundred. It is evident that the management instilled their trust in the talent of Haris after an impressive T20 World Cup last year.
With the absence of Rizwan, this was a golden opportunity in the hands of Haris, and he certainly was unable to grab it with both hands. He has to be consistent to stand any chance of getting selected in the future.
Abdullah Shafique (1/10): Abdullah Shafique was arguably the worst player on the squad, as he looked lacklustre throughout the tournament. He played three matches, scoring 0, 0, and 23 runs. With two ducks under his belt, the 23-year-old would not want to remember this trip to Sharjah. Shafique scored a quickfire 23 runs off 13 balls in the final match. He must be patient once set on the crease and improve his shot selection.
Tayyab Tahir (2/10): The 29-year-old debutant scored 39 runs in 41 balls across the three matches. Tahir fell prey to length deliveries in the first two matches. In the third match, he hit two boundaries but was dismissed by a stunning catch by Ahmad.
Azam Khan (0/10): Azam Khan had a tournament to forget after an impressive display in the recently-concluded PSL. He played two matches but failed to impress in either of them. He walked back without troubling the scoreboard in the first game. In the second game, he struggled against Rashid Khan and got out on the fourth ball after scoring one run.
Pakistan fans would have hoped to see Azam Khan continue his superb form from the PSL, but that was not supposed to be. However, we hope the talented youngster picks up the form very soon.
Faheem Ashraf (0/10): Faheem Ashraf was featured once in the tournament. He was picked ahead of Mohammad Nawaz for the first game. He failed to create an impact with the bat, as he got dismissed for two runs after facing eight balls.
Moreover, Faheem did not bowl a single over in the match either. His performance meant that he was dropped for the rest of the tournament.
Imad Wasim (6/10): Imad Wasim contributed both with the bat and the ball but ended in a losing cause for most of it. Wasim struggled with the bat in the first match but made amends by bowling a mindblowing spell of four overs, conceding only eleven runs, and picking up the wicket of Karim Janat. He also bowled a maiden over in the spell.
The all-rounder proved his worth with the bat in the second match. He batted his way through to the 20-over mark to ensure Pakistan had a respectable total to defend. He scored 64 runs at a strike rate of 112. In the third match, Wasim added 13 runs with the bat while picking up the wicket of Rashid Khan in the second innings.
Shadab Khan (5.5/10): Shadab Khan – the player had a decent outing. Shadab Khan – the captain – showed immaturity on the biggest stage. His major contributions in the tournament came in with the bat.
He scored 32 off 25 balls in the second match and added 28 runs to the total in the third game. His only wickets in the tournament came in the third game, where he picked up three wickets for 13 runs. He bowled economically throughout the competition.
Iftikhar Ahmed (3/10): Iftikhar featured in the third and final game. His only contribution came with the bat, scoring 31 off 25 balls. The score included two maximums. He has always been a handy contributor for Pakistan but is down in the pecking order.
Mohammad Nawaz (1/10): Mohammad Nawaz had a disappointing outing at Sharjah. He did not feature in the first game. His only contribution in the second game was an economical spell with the ball at an economy rate of four. He bowled one over in the third match, which cost 11 runs to his team.
Mohammad Wasim Jr (3/10): Mohammad Wasim Jr was quite impressive in the one match he played. He played as a substitute for Naseem Shah in the final game. He justified his selection by picking up the wicket of opening batsman Sediqullah Atal and conceded just 13 runs in 3 overs. Wasim also played his role as a batsman, scoring nine runs off four balls, including a six.
Ihsanullah (7/10): The 20-year-old right-arm fast bowler was one of the few bright sparks for Pakistan in the tournament. The young speedster played three matches and was impressive in all of them. He was the only player from Pakistan who was consistent throughout the tournament. With six wickets in three matches as a debutant, Ishanullah gets a solid seven.
Naseem Shah (1/10): Before the tournament, one would suppose Naseem Shah to lead the bowling attack in the absence of Shaheen Afridi. However, the bowler failed to trouble the opposition batters in both the matches that he played in.
Naseem picked up the wicket of Gurbaz in the first match before going wicketless in the second. After two atrocious displays, he did not feature in the third match.
Zaman Khan (6/10): Zaman Khan showed signs of maturity in his debut series for his country. Even though he picked only two wickets over three matches, Zaman bowled at a consistent line and length. His economy rate over three games was under six runs per over, which is impressive for a 21-year-old with no international experience.