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Pakistan clinch last-ball win over Afghanistan

09 December, 2013

SHARJAH: Pakistan overcame stiff resistance from minnows Afghanistan to win the first-ever Twenty20 international between the two countries by six wickets in Sharjah on Sunday.

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Chasing a challenging 138-run target, Pakistan were held to the final over of the match and won on a wide off the last delivery of the match. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez kept his cool to finish with a 37-ball 42 not out as Pakistan needed six off the final over bowled by Dawlat Zadran and one off the last delivery.

Hafeez hit two boundaries and a six during his knock and avoided any major hiccup against a fighting Afghan team. Pakistan got off to a solid start with a stand of 47 between Ahmed Shehzad (35) and debutant Sharjeel Khan (18) by the eighth over. Shehzad, who hit six boundaries during his 37-ball knock, holed out while Sharjeel miscued a drive off Mohammad Nabi in the tenth over.

Despite a tight line and length by Afghanistan's bowlers, Hafeez and Akmal kept their cool, taking Pakistan close to their victory target. Akmal hit two sixes in his 28 off 23 balls. Afghanistan, who won the toss and batted, had a poor start as they lost both their openers Mohammad Shahzad (two) and Nawroz Mangal (one) by the fifth over.

But Najibullah Zadran (38) and Nabi (15 off ten) gave solidity to the innings, adding 35 for the fourth wicket in quick time. But once left-arm paceman Junaid Khan came on to bowl he put the brakes on the Afghanistan batting, cleaning Najibullah and Samiullah Sinwari (16) in quick succession to finish with 3-24 in his four overs. Najibullah hit three boundaries and two well-timed sixes during his 30-ball knock.

Mirwais Ashraf made a 22-ball 28 not out with two boundaries and a six to take Afghanistan to 137-8 -- their highest against a Test playing country. Afghanistan had made 136 against India at Colombo in last year's World Twenty20. Left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir finished with 2-11 with two of his four overs maidens.  Pakistan now play Sri Lanka in the two Twenty20 games in Dubai on Wednesday and Friday while Afghanistan take on Ireland in the final of the ICC Inter-Continental Cup in Dubai from Tuesday.

Scoreboard

AFGHANISTAN:

M Shahzad c Akmal b Tanvir    2

Nawroz Mangal c Maqsood b Babar    1

Asghar Stanikzai b Bhatti    15

Najibullah Zadran b Khan    38

Mohammad Nabi b Afridi    15

Samiullah Shinwari c Shahzad b Khan    16

Mirwais Ashraf not out    28

Gulbadin Naib b Tanvir    3

Dawlat Zadran b Khan    0

Hamid Hassan not out    4

EXTRAS: (b4, lb9, w2) 15

TOTAL: (8 wkts: 20 overs)    137

FOW: 1-3, 2-7, 3-29, 4-64, 5-93, 6-100, 7-120, 8-131

BOWLING: Hafeez 4-0-13-0, Tanvir 4-2-11-2, Babar 3-0-27-1, Bhatti 3-0-25-1, Afridi 2-0-24-1, Khan 4-0-24-3

PAKISTAN:

Ahmed c Naib b Shenwari    35

Sharjeel c Shenwari b Nabi    18

M Hafeez not out    42

Umar Akmal b Dawlat Zadran    28

Sohaib Maqsood run out    5

Shahid Afridi not out    1

EXTRAS: (b1, lb2, nb1, w5)    9

TOTAL: (for 4 wkts; 19.5 overs)    138

FOW: 1-47, 2-64, 3-111, 4-126

BOWLING: Nabi 4-0-21-1, Shapoor 3-0-17-0, Hassan 4-0-29-0, Dawlat 2.5-0-25-1, Shinwari 3-0-26-1, Ashraf 3-0-17-0

TOSS: Afghanistan

UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK)

TV UMPIRE: Zameer Haider (PAK)

MATCH REFEREE: David Boon (AUS)

End.