Afghanistan shows some gumption to pull off a hard-earned win in tough conditions. Pakistan’s inexperienced line-up will have some soul-searching to do, but as Shadab said, the bowlers did well. There are two more games to go to make amends.
In the first of a three-game series on Friday. Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi played a crucial role in guiding Afghanistan to a six-wicket victory over a newly revamped Pakistan team in the Twenty20 International.
In a clinical performance, where the hosts were the better side from start to finish. They sealed the win in style. The returning Mohammad Nabi was the hero with the bat. A walloped six over mid-off off Ihsanullah capped a brilliant performance with both bat and ball.
Pakistan had chosen to bat first after winning the toss. But Afghanistan immediately established its dominance, keeping the young Pakistan batting order on a leash. On a surface where batting was exceptionally challenging, Pakistan crumbled in the face of disciplined Afghanistan bowling. Frittering away wickets at regular intervals, struggling to transfer any pressure onto the hosts. No Pakistan batter managed to reach 20 as the innings limped along. The 92 for 9 that Pakistan ended with their fifth-lowest T20I total.
Rashid Khan: 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. As a team, we need to improve the top order. We need to be much better. We have the ability. However, we need to play the right shot at the right moment. Need to keep improving day by day.
Shadab Khan: I think tactics were fine. Sometimes these things can happen as we have lot of youngsters in our side. We can’t give too many excuses as a professional. 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 percent in the next game.