Veteran Shoaib Malik notched up an unbeaten 51 runs, as Pakistan survived a scare before winning their Super Four match of the Asia Cup against Afghanistan by three wickets.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Afghan opening pair of Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah batted steadily by adding 26 runs, before Mohammad Nawaz broke through by dismissing the former for 10 runs.
The 24 year old left arm spinner also bagged wickets of Shahzad, and Rahmat Shah.
A well composed unbeaten 97 from Hashmatullah Shahidi and an entertaining 67 (56) from Asghar Afghan powered Afghanistan to a competitive total of 257 runs which was their highest in this tournament.
The 23 year old Shahidi however missed out on his first hundred by just three runs.
Chasing a target of 258, Pakistan’s innings started disastrously, as as they lost Fakhar Zaman leg before wicket to Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq added a mammoth 154 run stand for the second wicket, before the 22 year old left hander was run out by Najibullah Zadran’s direct hit for 80 runs.
Nine balls later, Rashid Khan had Azam stumped by Shahzad for 66.
Pakistan, in the middle stages, lost wickets at regular intervals to Afghanistan’s spin twins.
In the end they overhauled the target with 3 balls to spare.
India’s next Super 4 match will be against arch rivals Pakistan on 23rd, whereas Afghanistan will be facing Bangladesh.