Afghanistan put on another brilliant run-chase performance to defeat a revamped Pakistan by seven wickets and grab a commanding 2-0 lead in the three match series, in the second Twenty20 International (T20I).
Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi each smashed a six off pace bowler Naseem Shah in the penultimate over to lower the target to five runs. They needed 30 from the final three overs and 22 off the final two.
Zadran then scored the winning run off Zaman Khan’s final over to help his team reach their goal of 131 runs with one ball remaining.
Imad Wasim, an all-rounder, scored his first T20I half-century with a calm 57-ball 64 that left him unbeaten and captain Shadab Khan added 32 more points, bringing the final score up to 130-6.
Afghanistan’s chase was started by Rahmanullah Gurbaz (44) and Ibrahim Zadran (38) before Najibullah Zadran hit a quick unbeaten 23 and Mohammad Nabi was 14 not out to lead their team to 133-3 with one ball remaining.
“It’s a great honor and pleasure to lead this wonderful team,” Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan said. “Great effort with the ball, and then we took it deep and finished it … We have players to finish it like Nabi and Najib.”
Talking to the media after the defeat in the second T20 and series against Afghanistan, Shadab Khan said that we people criticize our players, Rizwan and Babar Azam have been criticized for playing slowly, and their strike rate is talked about.
Captain Shadab Khan said about the importance of senior players in the team that now Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will get more respect than ever before.
Shadab further added, “Young players need to be encouraged, a little patience must be shown by the public, do not criticize young players, they will perform well in the future.”
Moreover, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and head of the Taliban’s Qatar office Sohail Shaheen stated the historic victory in the T20 series against Pakistan.
In a statement issued on social media, Sohail Shaheen congratulated the Afghan team and the nation for winning the T20 series against Pakistan.
د كركيټ د شل اوریزو لوبو سیریز د ګټلو له امله راشدخان، نصیب ځدراڼ، میرویس اشرف او د کرکیټ د ملي ټیم ټولو اتلانو هریوه تن ته او افغان ولس ته د زړه له کومې مبارکي وایم. همداسې بریالي او نومیالي اوسئ ځوانانو! pic.twitter.com/maRrNKjdYK
— Suhail Shaheen. محمد سهیل شاهین (@suhailshaheen1) March 26, 2023