Hashmatullah Shahidi and skipper Asghar Afghan struck fifties to propel Afghanistan to a competitive 256 for 7 against Pakistan in the second game of the Super Four Stage at Asia Cup.
Electing to bat first, Afghanistan were off to a slow and nervous start. Mohammad Shehzad once again failed to pay his usual attacking game. Ihsanullah Janat also failed to score freely from the other end as he scored 10 off 28 balls before falling to Mohammad Nawaz. 5 runs later, Nawaz struck again to end Shehzad’s painful stay at the crease. The attacking batsman managed just 20 off just 31 balls.
Rahmat Shah and Shahidi, however, did not let Pakistan capitalise on the two quick wickets by adding 63 runs. Nawaz once again gave the Men in Green the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Shah for 36.
Shahidi and Afghan, who started his innings with a first-ball six, then set the platform for a challenging total by 94 runs for the fourth wicket. A six and four in the 38th over saw Afghanistan crossed the 150-run mark. Both the batsmen then reached their fifties in the 40th over.
Debutant Shaheen Shah then gave Pakistan the much-needed breakthrough by castling Afghan for 67. Mohammad Nabi was the next to return to the pavilion after scoring just 7. Shahidi, on the other hand, held firm from one end and remained unbeaten on 97to help his side post a competitive 257 for 6.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the innings:
Hashmatullah Shahidi 97 not out, stood strong thru and thru held Pakistan in a tight corner.. splendid knock in a big match.. what a story for a young team. Afghans are roaring.. take a bow! #PakvAfg #Cricket #AsiaCup2018
— Sawera Pasha (@sawerapasha) September 21, 2018
Take a bow, Hashmatullah Shahidi. What a knock – 97 Not Out. He deserved that century.
It’s a great competitive game on now! https://t.co/cygjanxFRn
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) September 21, 2018
— Ajmal Jami (@ajmaljami) September 21, 2018
— ASD (@The_Normal1) September 21, 2018
— Ankit Sulekhiya (@ankit_sulekhiya) September 21, 2018
Three dropped catches of Shaheen…he then went for uprooting stumps #PAKvAFG
— Dr. Mohib Wazir?? (@MohibKhan01) September 21, 2018
world best bowling is
now world worst bowling#PAKvAFG
— Muhaمad نabeel (@perfectsayz) September 21, 2018
— Areesha Aslam (@Areeesha) September 21, 2018
Stupid Pakistani crowds chanting Pakistan ka matlab kiya? This was the slogan Jinnah explicitly said he had nothing to do with. But even more interesting … are Afghanistan a Jewish team? #PAKvAFG
— Yasser Latif Hamdani (@theRealYLH) September 21, 2018
Although i am not liking this one bit but Afghanistan is going to be one of the top teams in the world in a year or two.
Well played guys #PAKvAFG
— The Dark Joker ?? (@LnDMehrDJ) September 21, 2018
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) September 21, 2018
— Ahsan. ?? (@imPakistaniLAD) September 21, 2018
I think the reason #Afg did not promote Rashid khan up the order, is they don't want to take risk with rashid. He is kind of great bowler and taking batting services from him might dent hus bowling capabilities in this tender age. #PAKvAFG
— ~krish (@khiladinumber) September 21, 2018
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) September 21, 2018
— Hammad Ahmed Khan (@HammadAhmedKha1) September 21, 2018
For me, #PAKvAFG is the new, intense rivalry to watch.
Not as aged as AUSvENG.
Not as political as PAKvINDIA.
But clearly, #PAKvAFG has its own political and ethnic dimensions based on the complicated experience between these two countries, people & even cricketers.
— Wajahat S. Khan (@WajSKhan) September 21, 2018