Cricket: Pakistan defeat Afghanistan to set up Asia Cup final with Sri Lanka

Cricket: Pakistan defeat Afghanistan to set up Asia Cup final with Sri Lanka
Pakistan defeated Afghanistan in a thrilling match in Sharjah on Wednesday to advance to the finals of the Asia Cup where they will face Sri Lanka.
2 min read
08 September, 2022
Pakistan's matchwinner Naseem Shah celebrated after taking his team to victory against Afghanistan [Getty]

Pakistan defeated Afghanistan to set up a final against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final, knocking rivals India out of the competition in the process.

Chasing 130 for victory, Pakistan were in deep trouble at 118-9 before tailender Naseem Shah hit two last-over sixes to pull off a thrilling one-wicket win over Afghanistan.

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan top-scored with 36 and seemed to take away the chase when he hit Rashid Khan for a six but the leg-spinner got him out next ball in a see-saw battle.

The Afghans appeared set for victory when Farooqi, who had figures of 3-19 from his first three overs, saw two full tosses at the start of the final over dispatched over long-off.

"Those sixes will always be remembered," Shadab, who also returned figures of 1-27 with his leg-spin and was named man of the match, said of Naseem's heroics.

"Our management has promoted our bowlers to bat a bit, because you don't know what situation will come in a game. Our bowlers also have the calibre to finish games with the bat."

Tempers flared when Fareed Ahmad struck twice in the 19th over, including dismissing the big-hitting Asif Ali who then angrily waved his bat at the bowler as the umpire cooled him down.

Shadab played down the incident, saying it happened "in the heat of the moment" and was best left on the field.

It was a second Super Four defeat in a row for Afghanistan, and one that also eliminated reigning champions India from the running for a place in Sunday's final.