Asia Cup 2018: Afghanistan can reach the finals - Kevin Pietersen
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Asia Cup 2018: Afghanistan Can Reach the Finals and Can Cause Upsets – Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen, Asia Cup 2018
Kevin Pietersen thinks Afghanistan could enter the finale of Asia Cup 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty

Former England superstar, Kevin Pietersen has lauded Afghanistan for putting up a spirited show against Pakistan in their opening match of the Super fours in Asia Cup 2018 in Abu Dhabi. They ran Pakistan pretty close and put them in a precarious situation. However, in the end, the experience of former Pakistan skipper, Shoaib Malik proved to be crucial in the end.

Afghanistan could upset in Asia Cup 2018

He scored an unbeaten half-century which helped Pakistan overhaul the required target of 258 with three deliveries to spare.

The former English great stated he feels Afghanistan has the capability of making it to the finals and even could make a significant upset. Taking to his Twitter handle, Kevin Pietersen wrote,

“Something tells me that Afghanistan could well make finals and possibly cause a major upset….! Just got that feeling… Conditions! Makeup of their team! Star players!

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Asia Cup 2018
Mujeeb Ur Rahman was able to keep a stranglehold on Pakistan. (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, Afghanistan has been quite spectacular in the last few years and has made considerable strides in international cricket. They already defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh quite convincingly in the group stage clashes of Asia Cup 2018.

It was a great performance by Afghanistan yet again. However, they failed to seize their opportunities at crucial junctures of the game.

Pakistan beat Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi

The lack of experience showed in their game, as they refused to take singles during the later stages of the match. Hashmatullah Shahidi who was nearing a century refused two singles during the later stages of the innings.

It would have at least increased the score by 3-4 runs. After batting first Afghanistan posted a competitive score of 257, riding on good knocks from Shahidi and skipper Ashghar Afghan.

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan, Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen stated Afghanistan might well qualify for the final. (Image Courtesy: Getty Images)

Pakistan began pretty poorly losing the wicket of Fakhar Zaman pretty early. However, it was a great partnership between Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq which helped Pakistan claw their way back into the game. The Afghanistani team made a grand comeback in the middle-overs and pushed Pakistan to the backfoot.

Eventually, Shoaib Malik’s presence ensured Pakistan reached the target in the final over of the match.

Arya chakraborty

A Cricket Expert who loves revolving his life around the game. An extremely passionate music lover who loves singing and listening to Arijit Singh songs.