Cricket

Asia Cup 2018: Shoaib Malik thwarts giant-killer Afghanistan in last-over finish as Pakistan win by three wickets

Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three-wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Asia Cup 2018: Shoaib Malik thwarts giant-killer Afghanistan in last-over finish as Pakistan win by three wickets

Dubai: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three-wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Shoaib Malik powered Pakistan to a three-wicket win over Afghanistan. Twitter: @ICC

Shoaib Malik powered Pakistan to a three-wicket win over Afghanistan. Twitter: @ICC

Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much-needed win and now face arch-rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.

Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.

Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.

Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.

But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.

Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.

Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.

Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.

But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan's bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan's early progress.

Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.

The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistani fielders dropped four catches – three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.

India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.

Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.

Updated Date: September 22, 2018 09:38:13 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Asia Cup 2023: PCB Chief Ramiz Raja threatens to pull out if Pakistan’s hosting rights are withdrawn
First Cricket News

Asia Cup 2023: PCB Chief Ramiz Raja threatens to pull out if Pakistan’s hosting rights are withdrawn

Ramiz Raja said that if the Indian government does not allow their team to travel to Pakistan, they might miss the Asia Cup 2023, but hosting rights shall not be changed.

Sri Lanka invites ICC to probe match-fixing allegations during home Test series against Pakistan
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka invites ICC to probe match-fixing allegations during home Test series against Pakistan

Opposition Member of Parliament Nalin Bandara had alleged match-fixing during drawn Sri Lanka vs Pakistan series (1-1) played in Galle.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Live Cricket Score: SL vs AFG 3rd ODI at Pallekele
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Live Cricket Score: SL vs AFG 3rd ODI at Pallekele

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Live Cricket Score: Follow for live score and updates from the third ODI in Pallekele.