Afghanistan cricket team have stunned their Pakistani counterparts in the Asian Games 2023 semi-final held on Friday. In what was a low-scoring contest, Afghanistan, led by Gulbadin Naib, sneaked past 115 to set up a final against India, which will take place on October 8th. Naib stayed unbeaten at 26, hammering three sixes.
After electing to field first, Afghanistan bowlers showed plenty of discipline to skittle Pakistan for 115 in only 18 overs. Fareed Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3 scalps in as many overs, while Zahir Khan and Qais Ahmed picked up 1 wicket each. Captain Gulbadin Naib and Karim Janat also snared a scalp each. For Pakistan, only four batters reached double figures as Omair Yousuf top-scored with 24 off 19 deliveries.
Afghanistan openers depart cheaply:
In response, the Afghan batter also had a hard time as Sediqullah Atal and Mohammad Shahzad were back in the pavilion with 5 overs. Noor Ali Zadran dragged his side with a partnership of 36 with Afsar Zazai.
The Afghans had another bout of collapse, finding themselves at 84-6 in 14.1 overs. Contrary to expectations, the burly and muscular Gulbadin Naib opened his account with an enormous six. The winning moment for Afghanistan came in the 18th over itself when Naib smashed two more maximums, including one off a front foot no-ball.
Naib finished things off by clobbering a boundary over mid-wicket and went berserk in celebration. Afghanistan will face India for the gold medal game on October 7th.