Pakistan vs Afghanistan only T20: Pakistan sneak past Afghanistan in last over thriller

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan won the match with only one ball to spare

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez smashed 42 runs as his side were able to sneak past Afghanistan by six wickets in a last over thriller during their one-off Twenty20 International in Sharjah.

Hafeez was well supported by pace bowler Junaid Khan, who picked up three wickets.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat first.

However his decision to do so backfired almost immediately as opening batsman Mohammad Shahzad was caught behind off the bowling of Sohail Tanvir for just two runs.

Shahzad’s opening partner, Nawroz Mangal, was the next to go as he was caught by Shoaib Maqsood in the slip region off the bowling of Zulfiqur Babar.

Asghar Stanikzai managed to score 15 runs before being clean bowled by Bilawal Bhatti.

Things went from bad to worse for Afghanistan as Nabi also scored 15 runs before being clean up by Shahid Afridi.

Afghanistan ended up scoring 137 at the end of their 20 overs, thanks to Najibullah Zadran, who smashed 38 off 30 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, and Mirwais Ashraf, who hammered 28 off 22 deliveries, which included two boundaries and a six.

Khan was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three wickets, while Tanvir snapped up two and Afridi, Bhatti and Babar all chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing a relatively straightforward target of 138 to win, Pakistan got off to a solid start as their opening pair of Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan, who was making his Twenty20 International debut, put together a 49-run partnership before Shehzad was caught by Gulbadin Naib off the bowling of Samiullah Shenwari for 35.

Shehzad’s brilliant innings of 35 came off 37 balls and included six boundaries.

Just two overs later, Khan was on his way back to the pavilion as he was caught by Shenwari at point off the bowling of Nabi for 18.

Hafeez and wicketkeeper Umar Akmal amassed a 47-run partnership before Akmal was clean bowled by Dawlat Zadran for 28 off 23 deliveries, which included two maximums.

Heading into the last over, Pakistan only needed six runs to win and Hafeez and Afridi kept rotating the strike to get their side home with one ball to spare.

Hafeez finished on 42 off 37 balls, which included two boundaries and a six, while Afridi remained unbeaten on one run.

Nabi, Shenwari and Zadran all picked up one wicket each.

Hafeez was named Man of the Match for his outstanding innings.

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