At the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday, Pakistan advanced to the Asia Cup final with a thrilling one-wicket victory over Afghanistan. Pakistan needed 11 runs off the last over to reach its 130-run mark, with tailenders Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain in the middle. Although it appeared that Pakistan could lose against Afghanistan, Naseem had different plans. The pacer smashed two sixes off Fazalhaq Farooqi’s first two deliveries, whipping up a commotion in the Pakistani dressing room.
The drama began before those two balls when Pakistan lost the wicket of Asif Ali in the fifth ball of the 19th over after he had hit Fareed Ahmed Malik for a six in the previous ball. Not only did Fareed dismiss Asif, but he also went right up to the batter and gave him the fist pump in celebration of the catch. Asif, who disapproved of Fareed’s behavior, lifted his bat before turning to leave. Asif was walking back when Fareed also did a shoulder barge on him. Luckily, other Afghanistan players intervened and separated the two players.
With two losses in a row, India and Afghanistan were eliminated from contention for the Sunday final as a result of Pakistan’s victory. Pakistan and Sri Lanka both earned four points to advance to the championship match. Afghanistan scored 129 for six after being invited to bat, with Ibrahim Zadran leading the way with a 37-ball 35. Pakistan reached 131 for 9 in 19.2 overs, completing the mark with four balls remaining. Pakistan’s best scorer was Iftikhar Ahmed with 30, followed by Shadab Khan with 36. Fareed Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, and Rashid Khan each claimed three wickets for Afghanistan.