T20 World Cup: Pakistan on brink of semi-finals after beating Afghanistan

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Dubai:
Afghanistan 147-6 (20 overs): Nabi 35* (32), Gulbadin 35* (25); Imad 2-25
Pakistan 148-5 (19 overs): Babar 51 (47)
Pakistan won by five wickets

Pakistan are on the brink of the semi-finals of the Men’s T20 World Cup after a thrilling five-wicket win against Afghanistan in Dubai.

In an enthralling match, Pakistan were cruising in a chase of 148 until captain Babar Azam was bowled by Rashid Khan for 51.

Shoaib Malik was caught behind in the next over but, with 24 needed from the last 12 balls, Asif Ali smashed four sixes in the 19th to seal success with six balls to spare.

Asif finished with a stunning 25 not out from seven balls, sending a vocal crowd wild in the closing moments.

Afghanistan, who played their part in the thriller, were hauled to 147-6 by a battling unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 71 between Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib, who both made 35 not out.

They were 76-6 after a high-octane start where Pakistan’s bowlers, and Afghanistan’s attacking approach, created an electric atmosphere.

Pakistan, undoubtedly one of the tournament favourites, are top of Group 2 with three wins from three games.

The other teams in the group, including India and New Zealand, have games in hand, but Pakistan play Namibia and Scotland – the two lowest-ranked teams left in the tournament – in their remaining games.

More to follow

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