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Pakistan beats Afghanistan in thrilling last over



(Last Updated On: September 8, 2022)

In a dramatic finish in Sharjah, No.10 batter Naseem Shah slammed two sixes off the first two balls of the final over to seal Pakistan a win against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.

For the third time in four games, Afghanistan’s openers started off all guns blazing, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz leading the charge.

Wayward lines from Mohammad Hasnain in the second over saw Gurbaz capitalise and hit him for back-to-back sixes to end the over, ICC reported.

Pakistan countered Gurbaz with more pace, this time in the form of Haris Rauf.

Hazratullah Zazai took him on for two fours, but he was saved by a tough dropped chance from Naseem Shah while attempting another big heave.

Rauf, however, found success at the other end with the big wicket of Gurbaz, cleaning him up with a delivery angling into the right-hander.

After attacking Afghanistan with extreme pace early on, Pakistan resorted to the spin duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan to tie them down in the middle overs.

The plot worked as Afghanistan batters struggled to score with little pace on the ball.

Nawaz bowled his four overs on the trot, sending back Karim Janat for 15, while Shadab dismissed the dangerous Najibullah Zadran for 10. 

Naseem Shah, meanwhile, returned to the attack and sent back skipper Mohammad Nabi, playing his 100th T20I, for a golden duck. Ibrahim Zadran fought for Afghanistan with a hard-working 35 but eventually edged one off the impressive Rauf to depart in the 17th over.

Some lusty blows late in the game from Rashid Khan gave Afghanistan something to cheer about, but a total of 129 wasn’t something to write home about.

In two of the three matches in the Asia Cup, Afghanistan had struck with a wicket inside the first two overs – snaring three against Sri Lanka in the opening game and one against Bangladesh in their second game. 

Here again, they found a way to apply early pressure as Fazalhaq Farooqi sent back skipper Babar Azam for a golden duck. Fakhar Zaman was run out by a brilliant direct hit in the fourth over, and Pakistan sunk further. 

Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed rebuilt, but Rashid Khan took out Rizwan soon after the Powerplay to leave Pakistan in a spot of bother at 45/3.

Afghanistan went on take wickets at regular intervals to push Pakistan out of the game.

The promising stand between Iftikhar and Shadab was broken and the likes of Nawaz and Asif Ali failed to deliver as Afghanistan seemed to be cruising to a win.

The wicket of Asif Ali in the penultimate over appeared to be the final nail in the coffin as Pakistan needed 12 runs off 7 balls from thereon. 

But a dramatic turnaround saw Naseem Shah blast a six off the first two balls of the final over from Fazalhaq Farooqi, Afghanistan’s most impressive bowler of the night.

The back-to-back sixes ensured Pakistan’s come-from-behind win, but also signalled the end of India and Afghanistan in the tournament.


Afghanistan’s T20 squad against Pakistan announced



(Last Updated On: March 21, 2023)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Tuesday named a 17-member squad, led by Rashid Khan, for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan, which starts in Sharjah later this week.

According to the ACB, Mohammad Nabi, the team’s former captain, has been recalled while left-handed opener Sediqullah Atal has been added to the squad.

Atal could be a potential debutant for Afghanistan in the series, said ACB.

Nijat Masoud and Zahir Khan who were part of the Afghanistan squad during the UAE tour last month have been kept as reserves, while Rahmat Shah and Hazratullah Zazai have been excluded.

“Our team has been working hard in training camp and selectors have selected the best available players for the series. I am confident that our team will perform at their best and make our nation proud. We wish our team the best of luck for the series and hope to see them emerge victorious,” ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said.

“In addition, we look forward to an exciting competition between two great teams. Both nations have passionate fans who support their teams with enthusiasm and pride. As neighbors, we have a special bond and we hope to showcase not only our cricketing skills but also the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. We wish both teams the best of luck and hope that cricket fans around the world will enjoy the games,” he added.

Afghanistan Squad: Rashid Khan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fareed Ahmad, Fazal Haq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq.

Reserve players include Nangyal Kharoti, Zahir Khan and Nijat Masoud.

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Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets in U-19 Tri-Series opener



(Last Updated On: March 18, 2023)

Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh by 7 wickets in the first match of Under-19 Tri-Series in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Batting first after winning the toss, Bangladesh made 75 runs before they were bowled out in the 22.5 overs.

Bashir Ahmad picked up four wickets while Kamran Hotak took three. Khalil Ahmad followed with two wickets.

Afghanistan chased down the target in the 9.5 overs, as Suhail Khan made 33 and Mohammad Haroon added 21.

Afghanistan will face Sri Lanka in their next match of the series on Wednesday.

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Bangladesh U19s levels ODI series 1-1 against Afghanistan U19s



(Last Updated On: March 15, 2023)

Bangladesh Under-19s defeated Afghanistan Under-19s by 63 runs in the second ODI in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to end the two-match series 1-1.

Batting first after winning the toss, Bangladesh posted 231 runs before they were all out after 49.3 overs in Abu Dhabi.

Mohammad Shihab James was their top-scorer with 98. He was followed by Paevez Rahman Jibon who made 48.

Yama Arab picked up four wickets for Afghanistan, while Faraidoon Dawoodzai took two.

In reply, Afghanistan made 168 before they were all out in the 45.4 overs. 88 of their total was scored by Sohail Khan.

Both teams along with the Sri Lanka U19s will now feature in a Tri-Series starting this Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

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