There is no stopping for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. The Babar Azam-led team is cruising with victories and almost confirmed its semifinal berth by winning the third game in a row. Pak had beaten Afghanistan in a thrilling chase and won the match by 5 wickets. When his team needed 24 runs off the last 12 balls, Asif Ali finished the game by hitting four 6s in the 19th over.
Afghanistan fought till the end but the disastrous 19th over by Karim Janat ruined their hopes of winning the game. Once again, it was the star spinners Rashid Khan (2/26) and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (1/14) who gave their best for the team. Though Pak lost the wicket of Mohammed Rizwan early, it had a solid partnership built by Babar Azam (51) and Fakhar Zaman (30) for the second wicket. Afghan bowlers brought back the game in their hands towards the end but one over changed the entire course for them. Asif Ali’s (25* of 7 balls) monstrous knock helped Pak score 145/8 in 19 overs.
Afghanistan had a disastrous start while batting first. It lost the wickets of Hazratullah, Mohammed Shahzad, Gurbaz, and Asghar Afghan inside the powerplay. At one point, they were 39/4. Karim Janat and Najibullah then took some time to settle the innings. When they were settling well, both batters were dismissed in a span of three overs. Skipper Nabi (35*) then took over the charge along with Gulbadin (35*). The duo made a partnership of 71 runs for the seventh wicket and helped Afghanistan score a total of 147/6 by the end of 20 overs. Imad Wasim (2/25) remained the top bowler for Pakistan by claiming two wickets.
Afghanistan will next face Namibia on October 31. Pakistan will play against Namibia in its next match on November 2.