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24th Match, Group 2 (N), Dubai (DSC), October 29, 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(19/20 ov, T:148) 148/5

Pakistan won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
25* (7)
Cricinfo's MVP
69.45 ptsImpact List
Full commentary

Right, what a contest that was. Peter and I had so much fun covering this, and an absolutely huge number of you joined us. We appreciate each one of you, and hope you join us again for the double-header tomorrow! Good night.

"The bowlers bowled brilliantly at the start, but I think we gave 10-15 runs too many away.

We didn't quite use the Powerplay as well as we hoped but Asif and Shoaib Malik at the death were brilliant. The way Asif's played many innings at the PSL, I was very confident he'd get us out of any trouble we find ourselves in.

"We had to bowl according to the situation and see how to bowl to each batter. The bowlers deserve credit for executing those plans brilliantly. The spinners were getting a lot of help, and because Afghanistan have some of the best pinners, they were getting a lot of help and bowling really well. I wanted to stay till the end but got out, unfortunately. So credit to Asif Ali," concludes a relieved Babar Azam.

"We didn't start really well - the total on the board was decent but maybe not enough," Muhammad Nabi says. "We discussed that 150 was a decent score on the pitch, and we did manage to take the game deep. I thought Rashid bowled at the right time because at 10 overs, they still needed about 8 runs an over, but Asif Ali played that 19th over really well. There are many positives to take from this. We fought to the end and it's given me more motivation to win games."

Muhammad Faisal: "President Asif Ali not Zardari

end of over 1924 runs
PAK: 148/5CRR: 7.78 
Asif Ali25 (7b 4x6)
Shadab Khan0 (1b)
Karim Janat 4-0-48-0
Naveen-ul-Haq 3-0-22-1

9.36 pm What a tremendous match. So much energy, so many momentum swings from start to finish. Afghanistan would've felt like they had the upper hand after that 18th over, and yet the chase never made it to the 20th. Pakistan firm up their place at the top of the table with three wins from three.

Asif Ali is the Player of the Match after that rousing finish (translated from Urdu): "The boundary was small from this end so I told my partner I'd go for it this over. Thank God we pulled it off. I look at the situation and what it demands and which bowler has overs remaining, and the field setting. I told Shoaib that Naveen was bowling well, and from this end I could even score 25 in an over. So I planned for it."

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, SIX runs

Pakistan do it in style! Asif Ali with four sixes in the 19th to seal the match! The game-clinching blow sails over extra cover! Now we know why Asif turned down a single off the final ball of the 18th. This one is in the slot again wide outside off stump. Karim went for yorker every ball of the over, succeeded 33% of the time. If this were baseball, he'd be in the hall of fame. But in cricket, he's just served up four balls of cannon fodder to Asif, who made him pay in the most devastating way every single time.

Pakistan one shot away from victory.

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, SIX runs

yep! You betcha! Six, yorker, six, yorker, six... Janat misses the length going for wide yorker again, sits up as a half-volley on fifth stump and is annihilated over long-off.

Is another six on the way now to follow the pattern?

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, no run

wide yorker that Asif plays over the top of once more.

5th bowler letting Afghanistan down in a massive way right now.

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, SIX runs

length ball on sixth stump, Asif spanks Karim over midwicket off the facade of the first row of seats.

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, no run

wide yorker, Asif swings over the top of it.

Pendulum swings very sharply straight back to Pakistan after a magnificent 18th by Naveen. He might not even get a chance to bowl the 20th if Karim Janat keeps this up.

Karim Janat to Asif Ali, SIX runs

full in the slot on sixth stump at 134 kph, buffet bowling from Janat and Asif gets back in his crease to get under this and launch it over long-off.

24 off 12 to win now. Karim Janat to bowl his last.

end of over 182 runs • 1 wicket
PAK: 124/5CRR: 6.88 RRR: 12.00 • Need 24 runs from 12b
Shadab Khan0 (1b)
Asif Ali1 (1b)
Naveen-ul-Haq 3-0-22-1
Rashid Khan 4-0-26-2

Pravesh: "What an over by Naveen. Afghanistan's game now."

Naveen-ul-Haq to Shadab, no run

slower ball on middle, adjusts to tap this gently into midwicket for a clear single but Asif Ali either doesn't want the single so he can stay on strike to start the 19th or is totally asleep. Not sure they can afford to be turning singles down with wickets in hand. Confusing sequence. Shadab certainly wasn't prepared to be sent back and has to scamper back into his crease to beat a relay from Naveen fielding off his own bowling firing to Shahzad.

Shadab enters on strike.

Naveen-ul-Haq to Malik, OUT

edge behind chasing a wide ball! Naveen goes for the wide yorker and Shoaib's footwork lets him down. Reaches out with his arms for this and no feet, toe edge behind and Shahzad goes bonkers after clasping on.

Shoaib Malik c †Mohammad Shahzad b Naveen-ul-Haq 19 (15b 1x4 1x6 21m) SR: 126.66
Naveen-ul-Haq to Malik, no run

slower ball yorker is jammed out by Shoaib back to Naveen.

Naveen-ul-Haq to Malik, no run

dropped! Length ball driven back to Naveen's right, it came to him at catchable right on his right hand. Had to go for it one-handed. Instead of going into his palm, it cracked him on the thumb. Just got cramped for room slightly, actually stuck his arm out too far, more than he needed, and it caused the ball to pop out going off the thumb rather than the palm. Afghanistan needed that to stick. 7/10 on difficulty but it's left on the table.

Mansab Ali Shah: "Why Babar! Just WHY?!"

Naveen-ul-Haq to Asif Ali, 1 run

slower bouncer again on off, keeps the hands back to pull behind square for another single.

Sheikh Mudasir: "Babar seemed to be over-enthisiastic to hit Raashid out of the park, Penny wise and Pound foolish"

Naveen-ul-Haq to Malik, 1 run

slower ball bouncer on off stump, pulled through midwicket for one.

26 off 18 to win now. Asif Ali enters off strike. Naveen returns for the 18th.

end of over 1712 runs • 1 wicket
PAK: 122/4CRR: 7.17 RRR: 8.66 • Need 26 runs from 18b
Shoaib Malik18 (11b 1x4 1x6)
Rashid Khan 4-0-26-2
Karim Janat 3-0-24-0
Rashid Khan to Babar Azam, OUT

googly again finally does in Babar! The dropped chance only costs one run. Bizarre shot from Babar considering they'd already gotten double-digit runs in the over, but rather than see off Rashid's final ball, got greedy and a hubristic heave for midwicket winds up with his leg stump knocked back as Rashid's trademark googly gives him T20I wicket #101.

Babar Azam b Rashid Khan 51 (47b 4x4 0x6 85m) SR: 108.51
Rashid Khan to Malik, 1 run

short and wide, cut to backward point, Naveen airmails a throw over the non-striker's stumps.

Rashid Khan to Babar Azam, 1 run

dropped! Naveen at backward point! 4/10 on difficulty! Had to be taken! Rashid floats this up full on middle, Babar heaves for midwicket and a leading edge balloons to backward point. Naveen charges forward toward cover and dives in plenty of time but shells this. Had to be taken at international level, let alone a World Cup.

Rashid Khan to Malik, 2 wide

googly on a good length spins down leg and they switch strike for a second wide.

Rashid Khan to Malik, 2 runs

charges Rashid now to slog again, mistimes this full ball on fifth stump into midwicket for a pair.

Rashid Khan to Malik, SIX runs

looks like Shoaib has ditched that plan. No mercy vs Rashid Khan! Cobra Kai cricket! Strike first, strike hard! Rashid floats up a legspinner on fifth stump, recipe for a top edge but Shoaib roundhouse kicks this into the second tier over wide long-on.

Rashid Khan to Malik, no run

good length ball on off, goes back and across to defend into midwicket.

Mariam : "Pak should have sent Asif/Hasan here to hit a couple of sixes. Shouldn't let this go till the last over". Six singles will be the plan v Rashid, about to start his last over.

end of over 169 runs
PAK: 110/3CRR: 6.87 RRR: 9.50 • Need 38 runs from 24b
Shoaib Malik9 (7b 1x4)
Babar Azam50 (45b 4x4)
Karim Janat 3-0-24-0
Rashid Khan 3-0-14-1
Karim Janat to Malik, 1 run

length ball on fifth stump, goes to drive over extra cover, thick edge goes straight to deep third man on a bounce for a single.

Win Probability
PAK 100%
100%50%100%AFG InningsPAK Innings

Over 19 • PAK 148/5

Pakistan won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
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