ASIA CUP 2O22: PAKISTAN BEAT AFGHANISTAN BY 1 WICKET
Pakistan beat Afghanistan by a wicket in the final Asia Cup Super 4 game on Wednesday. The result meant India and Afghanistan could no longer count on Sunday's final after going two games without a win. With four points each, Pakistan and Sri Lanka qualified for the title fight on Sunday.
Earlier, Pakistani bowlers had beautifully prepared the game for easy run after winning the toss. The Afghan batters would have been very disappointed with their effort and would have hoped for a few more run on the scoreboard. Their bowlers did their best to make up the batting innings deficit, but couldn't cross the finish line.
Pakistan got off to a nightmarish start, losing their out-of-form captain to a golden duck. Fakhar Zaman threw down his wicket and attempted a stupid run and Mohammad Rizwan's good run ended against Rashid Khan's trickery. Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan have formed a 42-run partnership, bringing their side closer to the goal. Both were released in their thirties and Pakistan got in trouble. A mini-collapse left them with 11 runs from the last one left with a wicket in hand. In walked into Naseem Shah who decided he would do it his night.
Naseem Shah likely hit the top two sixes to protect Pakistan's ego on a Wednesday night that broke millions of Afghan hearts and knocked India out of the Asia Cup. Naseem's heavy blows may not match Javed Miandad's last six balls on 1986's Chetan Sharma, they would just as hurt Indian fans. India's fate in the tournament hinged on a victory in Afghanistan, and Afghan bowlers, who spewed fire into the cauldron of Sharjah's cricket stadium, nearly went through the Pakistani batting lineup as they defended 129/7 before Naseem close the deal in the first two balls of the final over launched by Fazalhaq Farooqi. Naseem's hits were a thriller for Pakistan with only one wicket. This win secured a place in the final for Pakistan alongside Sri Lanka, rendering the next two Super 4 games useless.
What a game that was. Afghanistan has shown great courage and never gives up.
That's all we got from this thrilling match! Pakistan and Sri Lanka qualified for the final and the remaining two Super 4 games became irrelevant. However, this is the year of the World Cup and every chance to play an international match is an opportunity to fine-tune your skills and game plans. India and Afghanistan will face each other on September 8 (Thursday) at 19:30 IST (14:00 GMT). Join us in advance for the next upcoming matches. Until then, it's goodbye and congratulations to Pakistan!