By Wajeeha Syed
The second match of Pakistan vs Afghanistan T20i series began on March 26, 2023, after sunset, with Pakistan winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Within the first three overs of the power play, Pakistan lost 3 wickets with Saim Ayub, Abdullah Shafique, and Mohammed Haris being dismissed. Imad Wasim played a responsible inning, scoring 64 runs off 57 balls, while Shadab’s 32 off 25 helped Pakistan reach a respectable total of 130 runs in 20 overs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi’s magical spell took 2 wickets in the first over of the match. As captain, Rashid Khan did a good job placing the right bowlers and fielders to control the score. When the Afghan players came to bat, they established momentum before losing the first wicket at 30 and ultimately achieved the target with only 3 wickets lost, sparing seven wickets. It was the 17th over that turned the game in Afghanistan’s favor when Naseem Shah gave away 17 runs with a six on the first and last ball of the over, leaving Afghanistan with a meager total of only 5 runs to score in the last over with seven wickets in hand.
Pakistan team made it difficult for Afghanistan to score easily. Players like Naseem Shah and Azam Khan took wickets and held onto the ball, but a few missed fieldings and dropped catches resulted in Afghanistan winning the second match of the T20i series.
“When questioned about the young players, Shadab Khan said, ‘If we had brought in senior players, you would say we didn’t give chances to youngsters. But now that we lost, you are saying why we didn’t get in our senior players.'”
Both Afghanistan and Pakistan’s players gave their best in the second match and are expected to bring more tough competition in the final game. As for whether Afghanistan can whitewash Pakistan, we’ll have to wait until today’s match to find out.