In the recent times, these two have been known for producing thrilling encounters and this match could have been won by Pakistan if they were more advanced with their plans, the fielding was sloppy behind the wickets by Sarfaraz Khan who scored a duck while batting first.
Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan; every bowler from their side took wickets but Mujeeb Ur Rahman was the most impressive one. He took two wickets for just 9 runs in four overs.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Haris and Saim Ayub came to bat but they didn’t entirely look settled, Haris continued to struggle on a slow wicket and finally was put out of his misery by Farooqi. Ayub looked good as long as he batted but soon while attempting an extravagant shot, he was dismissed by Naveen-ul-Haq.
Abdullah Shafiq once again disappointed with his poor form and bagged third duck in row in T20Is. Tayyab Tahir tried to negotiate the situation by being attaching but soon he was sent back to pavillion by Rashid Khan.
From thereon, the Pakistani team really didn’t recover, next batters stayed on crease for a while but couldn’t add decent runs on board. Imad Wasim added 18 runs while Shadab Khan could only add 12 runs, lower order failed too against the top combination of spin and pace by Afghanistani bowlers.
In 20 overs, Pakistan scored 92 runs which was their lowest T20 total in history. Anything around 125 would have been a par score.
Chasing 93 and knocking the door of history, Afghanistan started well with the bat but lost back to back two wickets in single over bowled by 20 years old debutant Inshaullah. What a dream debut for the young man.
Pakistan applied pressure and on the other end, Imad Wasim did a wonderful job by taking key wicket of Karim Janat, but unfortunately Pakistan couldn’t capitalise on the chances that were offered.
A few catches in the vacant slip cordon and missed catch by Sarfaraz really allowed Afghanistan to find their way to victory after being at 45/4 in 10 overs.
Now, both teams will meet again at Sharjah. Afghanistan will hope to take inaccessible lead in the series while Pakistan will hope to make a decisive comeback with a win.