At the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday, Pakistan advanced to the Asia Cup final with a thrilling one-wicket victory over Afghanistan. Pakistan needed 11 runs off the last over to reach its 130-run mark, with tailenders Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain in the middle. Although it appeared that Pakistan could lose against Afghanistan, Naseem had different plans. The pacer smashed two sixes off Fazalhaq Farooqi‘s first two deliveries, whipping up a commotion in the Pakistani dressing room.
Drama began before those two balls when Pakistan lost the wicket of Asif Ali in the fifth ball of the 19th over after he had hit Fareed Ahmed Malik for a six in the previous ball. Not only did Fareed dismiss Asif, but he also went right up to the batter and gave him the fist pump in celebration of the catch. Asif, who disapproved of Fareed’s behaviour, lifted his bat before turning to leave. Asif was walking back when Fareed also did a shoulder barge on him.
Pakistan’s win meant that India and Afghanistan are out of reckoning for the final to be played on Sunday as they are winless from two matches. With four points each, Pakistan and Sri Lanka qualified for the title clash.
Here is the video: Asif Ali and Afghanistan’s Fareed Ahmad involved in ugly fight at Sharjah
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Invited to bat, Afghanistan posted 129 for six with Ibrahim Zadran top-scoring with a 37-ball 35. Pakistan chased down the target with four balls to spare, reaching 131 for 9 in 19.2 overs.
Shadab Khan top-scored for Pakistan with 36 while Iftikhar Ahmed made 30. For Afghanistan, Fareed Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi took three wickets apiece while Rashid Khan got two.
Pakistan may now enjoy its success in making it to the championship game. On September 11, they will face Sri Lanka in a summit confrontation.