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Asia Cup 2022: Pakistan into the final after completing a thrilling win over Afghanistan

5/5 - (8 votes)

On Wednesday, Pakistan and Afghanistan contested a close match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah as part of the super four stage of the Asia Cup 2022 tournament. In this edition of the Asia Cup, Pakistan survived a scare to win and seal a berth into the final.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bowl first. Afghanistan had a steady start to their innings. Both Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai looked good but were dismissed in quick succession on 17 and 21 respectively as they were 48/2 at the end of the powerplay. Ibrahim Zadran walked in at three and played a well-composed innings.

Zadran lacked support from the other end as the other batters failed to contribute. Zadran was dismissed on 35 in the 17th over and a cameo from Rashid Khan (18* off 15 balls) lower down the order helped them get to a respectable total of 129. Each of Pakistan’s bowlers picked up at least a wicket, with Haris Rauf finishing with two as they picked up six wickets in total.

Pakistan didn’t have the best of starts to the chase. They lost their skipper Babar on a duck on the second ball. Fakhar Zaman was run out in the fourth over and they reeled at 35/2 at the end of the powerplay. Mohammad Rizwan along with Iftikhar Ahmed steadied the ship but Rashid trapped the former on 20.

Ahmed along with Shadab Khan put a solid partnership for the fourth wicket. Afghanistan bounced back in the game by breaking the partnership and it opened the gates for them. They bowled beautifully and there was a collapse in the end. A flurry of wickets in the end resulted in the game getting down to the wire. With 11 required in the last over with only one wicket in hand, Naseem Shah hit back-to-back sixes to take his side to the final of the Asia Cup 2022.

India and Afghanistan get knocked out of the Asia Cup 2022

Pakistan have booked a place in the final of the Asia Cup 2022. They have won both their super four fixtures and sees them qualify to the final along with Sri Lanka. They lost five wickets in just 21 runs but Naseem Shah held his nerves to hit the winning runs to win the game for his side with one wicket in hand.

Afghanistan needed a win to stay alive in the Asia Cup 2022. Their bowlers bowled with their hearts out and tried their level best but couldn’t hold their nerves in the final moments of the game as they lost by one wicket. With this, they get knocked out of the competition along with India.

Player of the Match

Shadab Khan was named the Player of the Match for his all-round show.

It has been going well. We have the experience because of the PSL and the home series that we played here. I didn’t see a lot of difference in the pitch. It was a bit low and it was a good pitch. The pitch here helps the spinners. That is why we tried to bowl tight and bowl dot balls. When you pick wickets, you will stop the run-rate.

– Shadab Khan

To be honest, the dressing room was very tensed. The team was walking in and out of the dressing room. Excellent with the way Naseem Shah finished it off. Sharjah is always low-scoring, and Mujeeb and Rashid Khan are one of the best bowlers. We just wanted to take the match deep. The way we started with the ball was excellent.

– Babar Azam, Pakistan Skipper

Score Summary

Afghanistan: 129/6 (20)

(Ibrahim Zadran 35, Hazratullah Zazai 21, Haris Rauf 2/26)

Pakistan: 131/9 (19.2)

(Shadab Khan 36, Iftikhar Ahmed 30, Fareed Ahmad Malik 3/31)

Pakistan beat Afghanistan by one wicket, into the final of Asia Cup to play against Sri Lanka

Asia Cup finalists from 2010 to 2022

2010 – IND v SL

2012 – PAK v BAN

2014 – SL v PAK

2016 – IND v BAN

2018 – IND v BAN

2022 – PAK v SL

Finalists different from the previous season in every alternate Asia Cups.

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