Skipper Babar Azam hit the number 51 while Asif Ali scored four goals in the penultimate round as Pakistan completed a winning treble in the T20 World Cup by winning five wickets over Afghanistan in the Super 12 Group 2 match, in Dubai on Friday.
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Skipper Muhammad Nabi and Jalaluddin Naib’s undefeated strikes in a superb rearguard feat pushed Afghanistan to 147 contender for six after having been panting at 76 to six.
Pakistan scored in 19 matches, a win that cemented its position at the top of the points table and boosted its chances in the semi-finals with Scotland and Namibia winning after that.
Read: Why Pakistan is flying so high in the T20 World Cup – Explained
His team needed 24 passes from the last two matches, Asif Ali (25 of 7 balls) finished the task in 19th place, firing four six balls from Karim Jannat.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Rizwan (8) lost to Mujibur Rahman early in their pursuit but Azam and Fakhar Zaman (30) kept the innings in check with their 63-round stand.
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Mujib was exceptional up front for Afghanistan as he delivered only 14 times in his quartet but the Pakistani hitters scored goals from other bowlers.
World soccer player Rashid Khan held Afghanistan’s hopes, but by the time he came to the running, Pakistan had put 72 on board in 10 times.
His magic was working even though he dumped Muhammad Hafeez (10) to complete a century of wickets in the T20 Internationals.
He’s only given up 26 runs in his four runs with most Pakistani hitters playing with caution.
Shoaib Malik (19) though Rasheed fired a massive six in his last match where he brought down Naveen Al Haq Azzam. However, the skipper of Pakistan threw a googly in the last ball.
Azzam’s 47-ball hit only four shots to the fence where he was mostly moving the ball.
Malik ended up falling back when he flashed hard on Naveen’s wide ball, giving an easy chance to Mehmet Shahzad. Assef was in a fold and did not disappoint his side.
Earlier, Pakistan wide attack dominated the proceedings, but Nabi (35 years old) and Nayib (35 years old) took the momentum with their great effort under pressure and prevented it from becoming a one sided competition.
They added 71 runs in 7.1 increments with 43 in the last three.
It all started when they dreamed of 21 of the 17 rounds over Hassan Ali’s goal. Together they reached 10 limits.
However, at first, the investigators tested Shaheen Afridi, Rauf’s guard change and control Imad Waseem and Shadab Khan, Afghanistan fighters, who chose the racket.
Pasir Aviridi immediately created pressure on the Afghan fighters by first targeting his fiery toe and then followed by Waseem’s vertigo in his left arm with another taut punch in front.
The point-ball pressure outperformed Hazratullah Zazai (0), who went after Waseem and ended up catching a Rauf guard.
Mehmet Shahzad (8) raised Afridi’s overball into the cover area to get the team’s first bound but was unable to clear the ball in the middle of the ball later to start his run back to the hole.
Realizing that Afridi’s goals would be difficult to score, former captain Asghar Afghani (10) and Rehmanullah Gurbaz (10) targeted Waseem and collected 17 points from the next, both hitting him with six each.
However, Rauf cut off the Afghans’ residence while Hassan Ali restored Gurbaz.
Afghani’s younger brother Jannat, 15, came to the crease and was with Najibullah Zadran, 22, in charge of keeping on his side, who swung at 39 to four inside Powerplay.
It continued to deteriorate for Afghanistan as the race did not come at a good pace and they continued to lose wickets.
Waseem and Shadab succeeded in stepping up Jannat and Zadran respectively, leaving Nabi with the difficult task of putting in enough drills on the board for the defense, which he did with Naeeb.