Umar Akmal was taking his chances even with Pakistan in some trouble having lost six wickets much too soon. Off Shapoor Zadran, he swung across the line and skied the ball; it went to point where Samiullah Shenwari grassed the chance and gave Akmal the lifeline that Pakistan badly needed. He was batting on 28, and ended up making an unbeaten 102.
With Akmal and Anwar Ali adding 60 runs for the seventh wicket, one would have thought that Afghanistan's energy would fade away. But Nawroz Mangal showed the way, running hard from mid-off to take a superb catch near the boundary as Anwar Ali tried to clear him. The best part about the catch was Mangal's poise.
Mohammad Shahzad would be thinking what he did to be at the receiving end of two questionable decisions. The first came when Sharjeel Khan edged Dawlat Zadran and was well caught down the leg side by Shahzad, only for umpire Johan Cloete to dismiss the appeal. TV replays showed it tickled the gloves and also a bit of the hip before reaching the wicketkeeper. When it was his turn to bat, Shahzad had given Afghanistan a typically fast start but was then given out caught behind; the ball hadn't taken the edge but Billy Bowden thought it had, Umar Gul's extra bounce duping him.
Shahzad played what was perhaps the shot of the day, a clip off the toes which would have pleased any international batsman. It was all wrist, though he also generated a lot of power. Moreover the shot, which went for four through square-leg, was hit off the first ball of the Afghanistan innings.
The painful rebound
Hamza Hotak had been bowling his left-arm spin with accuracy but he wasn't as effective as a fielder. After Ahmed Shehzad swept fine, he chased and dived to save the ball, but it ricocheted off his palms and onto his face, before heading to the boundary rope.
Misbah-ul-Haq was sold down the river by Sohaib Maqsood in the 24th over. Maqsood drove to cover and set off only to have second thoughts about the run and slip. He turned back and reached his crease in time, but had Misbah for company at the striker's end. Wicketkeeper Shahzad collected the throw and ran all the way to the non-striker's end to complete the run-out, meaning Pakistan's most reliable batsman was run out without facing a ball.