Sharjah: Afghanistan has achieved a remarkable victory over Pakistan, securing a famous series win with a game in hand, just over a decade after making their debut on the international scene. They have defeated Pakistan for the second time in a row, marking a significant milestone in their cricketing journey.
Afghanistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match T20I series against Pakistan, winning the second game by seven wickets. Despite some late nerves in the closing overs, Afghanistan was able to chase down Pakistan’s total of 130-6 in 20 overs with one ball to spare.
During the closing overs of the game, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi rose to the occasion, hitting a six each off the pace bowler Naseem Shah in the penultimate over. Their efforts reduced the target to just five runs from the last over, which was bowled by Zaman Khan. Zadran’s boundary off the last ball of the innings ensured a historic victory for Afghanistan.
Imad Wasim played a crucial role in Pakistan’s innings, scoring a sedate 64 not out off 57 balls to anchor the innings. His efforts helped Pakistan to reach a total of 130-6 in their 20 overs. It was a remarkable achievement for Wasim, who scored his maiden T20I half-century in the game.
Imad and skipper Shadab Khan added 67 runs for the sixth wicket after Pakistan had gotten off to a disastrous start, with left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi claiming Saim Ayub and Abdullah Shafique, both for naught, in the first over of the innings.
Afghanistan’s opening batsmen, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, provided a solid foundation for the team with their partnership of 56 runs during the second wicket. While Gurbaz scored 44 off 49 balls, Zadran made 38 off 40 balls. However, their slow batting in the middle overs put pressure on the team, and they required 46 runs off the last 30 balls.
Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi remained unbeaten during the tense final overs, guiding their team to victory with their sensible batting. While Najibullah scored 23 runs, Nabi contributed 14 runs to the team’s total. Their efforts ensured that Afghanistan emerged as victorious in the match.
This was Afghanistan’s first bilateral T20I series against any of the top six teams, namely India, England, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Afghanistan had previously won a T20I series against the West Indies and Bangladesh, as well as a perfect record of five wins in five matches against Zimbabwe.
Overall, it was a great display of cricket from both sides, with Imad’s previous best of 47 coming against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 2019. The win was a historic moment for Afghanistan cricket, marking their first-ever T20I series win against Pakistan.