New Delhi: Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by three wickets in the Super Four match of the Asia Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Chasing a total of 258 runs, Pakistan got off to a bad start as they lost Fakhar Zaman on duck in the very first over off Mujeeb Ur Rahman. After this, Imam ul-Haq (80) and Babar Azam (66) stitched together a partisanship of 154 runs for the second wicket. After that, wickets kept falling for Pakistan, but senior campaigner Shoaib Malik (51/not out) showed nerves of steel to take Pakistan home.
In the last over, Pakistan needed 10 runs with Malik on strike. Aftab Alab came to bowl last over of the match. Malik hit six on the second ball to take Pakistan one short closer. Then he hit four runs towards square leg region to take Pakistan home.
Earlier, captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and opted to bat first. Afghanistan had a poor start as they lost their both openers cheaply for 31 in 10.1 overs.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (97/ not out) batted brilliantly in the middle. He received good support from Rahmat Shah (36) earlier and Asghar (67) later in the innings.
In the death overs, Shahidi displayed superb stroke-play taking his team past the 250-run mark.Pakistan's fielding was not upto the mark as they missed four superb catching opportunities.
Mohammad Nawaz from Pakistani side gulped three wickets in his ten over quota, while Shaheen Afridi and Hassan Ali bagged two and one wickets respectively .(UNI)