Twitter erupted with joy after Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by five wickets, recording their third consecutive victory in the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World but it also lavished praise on the Mohammad Nabi-led team for their impressive performance.
Afghanistan had Pakistan in a fix after Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, and Babar Azam were dismissed, but Asif Ali came to the team’s rescue and smashed 24 in the second-last over to lead his team to victory.
‘Future of cricket bright in Afghanistan’
Prime Minister Imran Khan, taking to Twitter, congratulated team Pakistan for their tremendous victory and also lauded the Afghan side for their impressive show.
“Impressive cricket by team Afghanistan. Never have I seen a cricketing nation rise as rapidly as Afghanistan in international cricket and become so competitive,” the prime minister said.
“With this competitive spirit and talent the future of cricket is bright in Afghanistan,” he said.
‘They will pull out a surprise or two’
Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said Afghanistan had developed into a very exciting team and it would be really interesting to watch them in the upcoming games.
“I’m almost sure they will pull out a surprise or two! Hopefully against India,” he said.
‘Kept us on tenterhooks’
Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said it was a great victory for Pakistan and lavished praise on Asif Ali for his tremendous knock.
“….and well played Team Afghanistan. Kept us on tenterhooks till the very end!” she added.
‘We don’t play the 20th over’
Noman Iqbal said Pakistan “does not play the 20th over”, as he congratulated the team.
Bilal Noori said the game was entertaining as it was not one-sided.
‘Fought like champions’
Naveed Jarwar said Babar Azam’s class and Asif Ali’s power-hitting took the team to victory. He also lauded Afghanistan for fighting like champions.
‘Wonderful piece of game by Afghanistan’
‘Fastest growing team of recent times’
Asif Ali smashed four sixes in the penultimate over to help Pakistan achieve a hard-fought five-wicket win over Afghanistan in the Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai.
With Pakistan needing 24 runs off the final two overs, Asif lifted paceman Karim Janat’s first, third, fifth and sixth balls over the boundary to help Pakistan overhaul a tricky 148-run target.
Asif finished with 25 off just seven balls with four sixes and a single, leaving Janat and all the other Afghan players frustrated.
The win gave Pakistan a third win in as many games in Group 2 of the Super 12 stages, almost assuring a semi-final place, needing just one more win from their last two games.
Afghanistan scored a fighting 147-6 in their 20 overs with Gulbadin Naib and skipper Mohammad Nabi scoring 35 each.