SHARJAH: Mohammad Nabi’s circumspect 38-ball 38 and bowlers’ brilliance powered Afghanistan to six-wicket victory against Pakistan in the first match of the three-match T20I series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Chasing a target of 93, Afghanistan lost two wickets in quick succession, when they were two down for 23, courtesy debutant Ihsanullah’s brilliance.
Then, it was Imad Wasim and Naseem Shah who took a wicket apiece. But in the end, the total posted by the visitors on the board was not enough.
Mohammad Nabi showed his experience and stitched an important partnership with Najibullah Zadran to help their sweep past Pakistan with 13 balls to spare. Nabi clobbered a six to pave way for his side’s triumph. He made unconquered run a ball 38, studded with three boundaries and one six.
Najibullah Zadran made unbeaten 23-ball 17, which was quite a supportive innings, considering the situation his team was facing at one stage of the game.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz was looked earlier but perished on 17-ball 16.
Ibrahim Zadran (9), Gulbadin Naib (0) and Karim Janat (7) failed to show any significant resistance.
For Pakistan, Ihsanullah picked up two wickets on debut and once again fabulous in terms of economy rate, conceding just 17 runs in 23 balls he delivered.
Imad Wasim, who made his comeback, was brilliant with the bowl, bagging a wicket and conceded merely 11 runs in his four overs.
Naseem Shah (1-27) also took a scalp.
Zaman Khan (0-19) and Shadab Khan (0-15) remained wicketless.
Earlier, opting to bat, Afghan’s bowlers restricted the Pakistan’s batters to 92-9, courtesy brilliance with the bowl from Mujeeb ur Rehman, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Muhammad Nabi.
The wicket seemed to be slow as only four batters could reach to double figure. It was only Saim Ayub (17 off 15) and Tayyab Tahir (16 off 9), who showed any significant resistance for their team.
Imad Wasim made circumspect 32-ball 18, while Shadab scored 18-ball 12.
For Afghanistan, every bowler scooped up wickets. Mujeeb (2-9), Nabi (2-12) and Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-13) bagged two wickets apiece.
Rashid Khan (1-15), Naveen (1-19) and Azmatullah Omarzai (1-20) took a scalp each.
This was for the first time in the history that Afghanistan had beaten Pakistan in any of the international matches.