Afghanistan won the series by defeating Pakistan by seven wickets in the second T20 match, Pakistani cricket fans were disappointed with the young batsmen, some questioned the captaincy and decisions of the captain Shadab Khan, while the majority supported Babar. Remembered Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
When the match started, the hopes associated with Pakistan’s young batsmen proved to be a castle of sand once again.
Saeem Ayub and Abdullah Shafiq had returned to the pole by the third ball of the first over and the scoreboard was still flashing zero.
Abdullah Shafiq was out for the second time without scoring a run. Mohammad Haris scored 15 runs off nine balls with the help of a six and two fours but then gave away the wicket of Naveen-ul-Haq.
By the end of the 11th over, the Pakistan team had lost five wickets, including Azam Khan, on a total score of 63. He added only one run to the score.
In such a situation, social media users said that young batsmen will learn only when they get a chance to play with an experienced batsman.
Both cautiously played a crucial role in guiding Pakistan to a seemingly defendable total over the next nine overs.
By the time Shadab was run out on the last ball of the 20th over, the score had reached 130, which was a poor total by modern T20 standards, but a slightly better performance than the previous match.
Imad Wasim played an unbeaten innings of 64 runs off 57 balls while Shadab Khan scored 32 runs off 25 balls.
Fazal Haq Farooqui was the best bowler from Afghanistan who started the match with two wickets in the first over.
Rashid Khan conceded only 16 runs in his four overs and took one wicket while Karim Jannat took one wicket in three overs conceding just 13 runs.
However, the Pakistani bowlers could not trouble the Afghan batsmen much.
Pakistan’s first over of the match was completely different from Afghanistan’s first over. Naseem Shah got 12 runs in the first over which included a four and a six.
At the end of three overs, Afghanistan had 26 runs on the scoreboard and no wickets had fallen.
In the next over, opener Usman Ghani was bowled by Zaman Khan, then Ibrahim Zardan came to support Rahmanullah and both took more risks and kept the scoreboard moving.
The way Ibrahim Zardan hit him for a boundary in the first over of captain Shadab Khan was a great display of the Afghan team’s confidence in this match.
But after this four, Pakistan’s nippy bowling did not allow the Afghan batsmen to play openly and it became impossible to find boundaries.
Meanwhile, Rehman Garbaz and Ibrahim Zardan did not let the scoreboard stop.
A social media user wrote that Naseem Shah should have been bowled to Zaman Khan while some believed that it was Shadab’s mistake to bowl only one over to Imad Wasim and he would have performed better than Naseem Shah on this pitch.
After this favor of Fate, Rahman Garbaz was run out trying to score a quick run.
He scored 44 runs off 49 balls.
At that time, Afghanistan needed 45 runs off 27 balls and the run rate had reached ten runs per over.
It was Shadab’s last over and it looked like Pakistan could get another wicket and the match could be interesting.
However, Ibrahim Zardan hit a boundary on the fifth ball of the same over, then Shadab bowled the next ball wide on which the batsmen scored two more runs.
At the end of the 16th over, Afghanistan now needed 36 runs in four overs.
Naseem Shah, who gave 12 runs in the first over, gave only six runs this time. The run rate then went to 10, adding some excitement to the match.
Ehsanullah added to the sensation in the very next over when Ibrahim Zardan caught Azam Khan behind the wickets on his rising ball.
He scored 38 runs off 40 balls.
But now there were two new Afghan batsmen on the wicket, one of them was the experienced Mohammad Nabi and the other was Najeebullah Zardan. The same pair had led Afghanistan to victory in an unbeaten partnership in the previous match.
When Najeeb hit Ehsanullah for a boundary, the target was 22 runs off 12 balls.
However, the very first ball of Naseem Shah’s next over was skilfully bowled across the boundary by Mohammad Nabi to add six runs to the score.
Five singles came in the next five balls and Najeeb hit another six off the last ball so Afghanistan now needed just five runs to win in the last over.
For the last over, Shadab kept the ball to Zaman, who did not give any runs on the first ball, while there were only three singles on the next three balls, but a possible catch crossed the boundary on the fifth ball and Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by seven wickets. He won the match and the series.
It was a historic occasion for Afghanistan and momentous moment for the selection committee of Pakistan cricket team as the experiment was not so successful.