Huge praise for Asif Ali and the rest of the Green Shirts after Pakistan beat Afganistan in the T20 World Cup clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Asif smashed four sixes in the penultimate over to help Pakistan achieve a hard-fought five-wicket win over Afghanistan.
With Pakistan needing 24 runs off the final two overs, Asif lifted paceman Karim Janat’s first, third, fifth and sixth deliveries over the boundary to help Pakistan overhaul a tricky 148-run target.
Asif finished with 25 off just seven balls with four sixes and a single, leaving Janat and all the other Afghan players frustrated.
The victory was Pakistan’s third in as many games in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage, all but ensuring them a spot in the semi-finals.
Asif Ali. Cleans up the mess again:
That last ball of the 18th over. Afghanistan making all kinds of right moves. Rashid took out Babar in the 17th. Naveen accounted for Malik in the 18th. On the last ball, the new batter wanted a single. Asif’s reaction was clear: he had his back turned to the man. He wanted the strike at the start of the next over, to be bowled by a medium-pace bowler with no mystery and a short boundary on the leg side. Quick singles are for mugs. Asif launched four clean sixes off Karim Janat in the 19th over, and ended the tense game with an over to spare. Afghanistan got their bowling choices all wrong. You can’t leave three overs in the end with inexperienced bowlers. You need every over to be inch perfect. Game over, Pakistan have a foot in the semi-final. Heartbreak for Afghanistan again.