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T20 World Cup: Green Shirts beat Afghanistan, fans gush over Asif Ali

Asif Ali slammed four sixes in the penultimate over

Asif Ali appeared as the hero for Pakistan for the second straight match of T20 World Cup 2021 as he slammed four sixes in the penultimate over of a successful run chase against Afghanistan on Friday in Dubai.

Pakistan’s topsy turvy run chase was at 124-5, chasing 148, with 24 needed off 12 balls and the match set for another tensed climax.

This was when Asif, decided to rise to the occasion. He had become the hero on Tuesday against New Zealand under similar conditions.

He slammed two of the first three balls of the 19th over bowled by Karim Janat for sixes before depositing the final two balls into the stands also, killing the run chase singlehandedly and prematurely.

Asif ended 25 off seven balls with four sixes and a single, leaving Janat and all the other Afghan players baffled.

The victory gave Pakistan a third win in as many games in Group 2 of the Super 12 stages, nearly guaranteeing a semi-final place, needing just one more win from their previous two games.

Afghanistan achieved 147-6 in their 20 overs with Gulbadin Naib and skipper Mohammad Nabi scoring 35 each.

Skipper Babar Azam secured Pakistan’s innings with a 47-ball 51 but his dismissal spun the game on its head in the 17th over with Pakistan needing 26 off the last three overs. But Azam was bowled by spinner Rashid Khan.

Paceman Naveen-ul-Haq scored just two runs in the 18th over and dismissed Shoaib Malik for 19 but Asif subduedsed all hopes of an Afghanistan win.
Pakistan’s mission was to deal with spinners Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in their chase with the evening dew making life difficult for bowlers.

Mujeeb dismissed Mohammad Rizwan (eight) while Nabi accounted for Fakhar Zaman (30) before Rashid’s wickets of Mohammad Hafeez (10) and Babar.

Here is what skipper Babar Azam has to say about Pakistan’s thrilling win against Afghanistan.

Fans are gushing over tonight’s hero, Asif Ali.

Another fan also shard Ali’s incredibly sixes.

Pakistan’s prime minister also applauded green shirts’ performance on his Twitter handle and also praised Afghanistan’s team rising.

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