Dubai, Oct 30 (IndiaToday) – Pakistan continued their winning run in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Friday as they beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets in a thrilling in Dubai to complete their hat-trick in the Super 12 and consolidate their position on top of the Group 2 table.
Chasing 148 for victory, Pakistan rode on swashbuckling knocks from captain Babar Azam, Asif Ali and Fakhar Zaman to cross the finish line with an over to spare.
Babar top-scored with 51 runs, his 22nd fifty, and also broke Virat Kohli’s record in the process to become the fastest captain to complete 1000 runs in T20Is. He put on a 63-run stand with Fakhar (30) before Asif Ali’s fireworks lit up the stadium.
Babar’s dismissal turned the tide in Afghanistan’s favour by a small margin but their hopes were dashed by Asif, who smashed 25 not out with 4 sixes in just 7 balls with 4 sixes to calm the nerves in Pakistan’s dressing room.
“I would like to congratulate the Pakistan team and all our fans. I was confident of finishing it off from this end and that’s what I told Shoaib Malik before he got out. I look at the situation of the match, and I target the bowlers accordingly.
“I was talking to Shoaib when I walked in to bat and I told him that I was confident enough of getting 20-25 in one over against Karim Janat, which I did,” Player of the Match Asif Ali said.
The win helped Pakistan stretch their unbeaten record in the UAE to 14 T20Is and brought an end to Afghanistan’s 17-match winning streak in the country.
Earlier, Skipper Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib’s unbeaten knocks in a splendid rearguard action steered Afghanistan to a competitive 147 for six against Pakistan in a Super 12 Group 2 match of the T20 World Cup, here on Friday.
Afghanistan were gasping at 76 for six in the 13th over as Pakistan’s expansive attack dominated the proceedings but Nabi (35) and Naib (35) seized the momentum with their big-hearted effort under pressure and prevented it from becoming a one-sided contest. They added 71 runs in 7.1 overs with 43 coming in the last three overs.