Cricket

Malik thwarts giantkillers Afghanistan in last over finish

2018-09-21 22:57
Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik (AP)

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.

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.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  afghanistan  |  asia cup  |  shoaib malik  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

The 12-month ban handed down to Steve Smith and David Warner and the 9-month sanction for Cameron Bancroft for their ball-tampering roles, is ...

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.