Mohammad Nabi and Afghanistan’s bowlers delivered an outstanding performance to secure a 6-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first T20I of the three-match series in Sharjah on Friday. After more than 11 years since their first encounter, Rashid Khan’s team finally achieved their first international win against Pakistan.
Afghanistan displayed clinical execution from the beginning, despite losing the toss and being asked to bowl first. Pakistan’s innings struggled to gain momentum as they consistently lost wickets due to the disciplined bowling of the hosts. Afghanistan’s bowlers restricted Pakistan to a meager 92/9 in 20 overs. Imad Wasim (18), Saim Ayub (17), and Tayyab Tahir (16) were the top contributors for Pakistan with the bat.
Also See: Pakistan vs Afghanistan Schedule and Match Dates
Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi claimed two wickets each and conceded only 34 runs in 11 overs combined. Spin remained dominant during the first innings, with Rashid Khan keeping the scoring in check.
Although the target seemed manageable, Pakistan’s bowlers put up a spirited fight. Afghanistan’s chase appeared to be in jeopardy at 45/4. However, Nabi (38 off 38 balls) continued to showcase his brilliance, forming an unbeaten partnership with Najibullah Zadran (17 off 23 balls) to steer Afghanistan to victory with more than two overs remaining. Nabi was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his 38-run knock and 2/12 spell.
As Pakistan aims to rebound in the second T20I on March 27, Afghanistan stands on the verge of securing a historic series win.
Need to improve top-order: Rashid Khan
After securing a six-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first T20I, Afghanistan’s captain Rashid Khan expressed his delight, while emphasizing the need for improvement in the top-order batting.
On Friday, an outstanding performance from Mohammad Nabi and the Afghanistan bowlers led the team to a 6-wicket triumph against Pakistan in the first T20I of the three-match series held in Sharjah.
This win marks a significant milestone for Rashid Khan’s side, as it’s their first international victory against Pakistan in the more than 11 years since the two teams first faced each other.
“It is always a huge pleasure. So happy that we crossed the line. Happy about the win. Hoping to continue the momentum. Happy with the performances. Proud to be leading this side. You don’t know the wicket at Sharjah. We were trying to adjust to the wicket. We were trying to figure out what a good score was. We need to improve the top-order. We need to be much better. We have the ability. We need to play the right shot at the right moment. Need to keep improving day by day,” said Rashid in a post-match presentation.
Sometimes these things happen as we have lot of youngsters in team: Shadab Khan
After Pakistan’s six-wicket defeat to Afghanistan in the first T20I, skipper Shadab Khan acknowledged that such losses can occur when the team consists mostly of young players, but he insisted that the team’s tactics were sound.
On Friday, Afghanistan’s outstanding performance led by Mohammad Nabi and the team’s bowlers earned them a 6-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first T20I of the three-match series in Sharjah.
“I think tactics were fine. Sometimes these things can happen as we have a lot of youngsters on our side. We cannot give too many excuses as professionals. This is a different ball game altogether. In the bowling, we had so many positives. Ihsanullah was excellent and Zaman Khan as well. Both were making their debuts and were under pressure. We will give our 100 per cent in the next game,” Shadab said in a post-match presentation.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan Full Scorecard: AFG won by 6 wickets