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Pakistan win thriller against Afghanistan in only T20 at Sharjah

Mohammad Hafeez starred for Pakistan with an unbeaten XX © AFP (File Photo)
Mohammad Hafeez starred for Pakistan with an unbeaten 42 © AFP (File Photo)

 

Dec 8, 2013

 

Pakistan beat Afghanistan by six wickets in the only T20 International at Sharjah on Sunday.

 

Needing 138 to win the encounter, the hosts won the match in the last over against an inspired Afghanistan side.

 

After having restricted Afghanistan to 137 in their 20 overs, Pakistan got off to a steady start putting up 50 runs for the opening wicket in 46 balls. However, two quick wickets reduced them to 64 for two within the first 10 overs.

 

Even as the match stretched till the last over, the hosts looked completely in command of the game. However, with 16 needed to win off the last two overs, a few good deliveries for the visitors could have turned things to their advantage.

 

Earlier, Najibullah Zadran played a gritty knock of 38. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Afghanistan didn’t get off to a good start. They lost both their openers — Mohammad Shahzad and Nawroz Mangal­ — in 25 balls with the score on seven.

 

However, Najibullah put Afghanistan back in the contest with some good batting in company of skipper Mohammad Nabi (15) and Shamiullah Shenwari (16). The fourth wicket partnership put on 35 runs in just 20 balls.

 

Following the dismissal of Najibullah, Mirwais Ashraf took the attack on the Pakistan bowlers as he raced away to a quickfire 28.

 

Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan were the only two pacers deployed by the hosts while they used as many as four spinners. Junaid was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 24 runs in his four overs.

 

However, Afghanistan put up a good fight to ensure that they took the match to a last-ball finish.

 

Brief scores: 

 

Afghanistan 137 for 8 in 20 overs (Najibullah Zadran 38; Junaid Khan 3 for 24) lost to Pakistan 138 for 4 in 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 42*, Ahmed Shehzad 35; Mohammad Nabi 1 for 21) by 6 wickets

 

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