Naseem Shah smashed two lusty sixes in the final over as Pakistan defeated Afghanistan in an thrilling Super 4 encounter in Sharjah on Wednesday.
After being asked to bat first by Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz got Afghanistan off to a quickfire start. The pair added 36 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was cleaned up by Harris Rauf for 17.
Hazratullah (21) was then bowled by a slower delivery from Mohammad Hasnain. Mohammad Nawaz then got into the act by dismissing Karim Janat, who miscued a slog sweep to Fakhar Zaman at long on.
Najibullah Zadran (10) and skipper Nabi (0) fell in consecutive deliveries as Afghanistan lost half their side for 91.
In the end Rashid Khan scored an unbeaten 15 ball-18 to take Afghanistan to a modest total of 129/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 130, Fazalhaq Farooqi drew first blood in the very first over by trapping Babar Azam leg before wicket for a golden duck.
Fakhar Zaman was then run out by a brilliant direct hit from Najibullah Zadran.
Star spinner Rashid Khan then struck a body blow by trapping the in form Mohammad Rizwan right in front of the stumps for 20.
The pair of Iftikhar Ahmed along with Shadab Khan anchored the innings with a solid 42 run stand for the fourth wicket before the former (30) perished to a slower bouncer from from Fareed to Ibrahim Zadran at deep midwicket.
Rashid claimed his second wicket by dismissing Shadab, caught at short third man by Azmatullah Omarzai for a quickfire 36.
Fazalhaq Farooqi then dismissed both Mohammad Nawaz and Khushdil Shah as Pakistan slumped to 109/7.
Fareed brought Afghanistan back into the contest by claiming Harris Rauf and the dangerous Asif Ali.
With 11 needed off the final over, Naseem Shah struck two full tosses from Farooqi for a maximum to take Pakistan home with 4 balls to spare.
Shadab Khan was adjudged the Player of the Match.
With this win, Pakistan are through to the finals of the Asia Cup alongside Sri Lanka, thereby eliminating both India and Afghanistan from the tournament.