Sharjah: The brilliant all round shoe from veteran Mohammad Nabi and incredible bowling performance helped hosts Afghanistan to register a historic six wicket win over Pakistan in the first T20 match of the three match series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday evening.
It is Afghanistan’s first win over Pakistan in T20Is.
Chasing a modest 93 runs to win, the home side chased down the target in 17.5 overs, losing four wickets in the process. Mohammad Nabi was the star performer for Afghanistan, scoring an unbeaten 38 runs to guide his team to victory. Najibullah Zadran remained not out on 17 runs. The pair knitted a 53-run unbroken stand for the fifth wicket after Afghanistan were reeling at 45 for four in the 10th over.
For Pakistan, the debutant Ihsanullah was the most successful bowler, taking two wickets for 17 runs.
Earlier, the tourists won the toss and opted to bat first. Pakistan gave T20I debuts to four players, including left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir, Ihsanullah, and Zaman Khan.
Pakistan’s batting struggled to gain momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Imad Wasim top-scored for Pakistan with 18 runs off 32 balls, while Saim scored 17 off 15 balls which included two fours and a six. However, the rest of the Pakistani batters failed to make significant contributions, and the team was eventually ended up scoring 92 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs.
Afghanistan’s spin duo of Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and left-arm fast Fazalhaq Farooqi picked up two wickets each, while skipper Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai and Naveen-ul-Haq took one wicket each.
Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi was named the player of the match for his all-round performance.
The second T20I of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday.
Scores in brief:
Pakistan 92-9, 20 overs (Imad Wasim 18, Saim Ayub 17, Tayyab Tahir 16; Mujeeb-ur-Rahman 2-9, Mohammad Nabi 2-12, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-13)
Afghanistan 98-4, 17.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 38 not out, Najibullah Zadran 17 not out; Ihsanullah 2-17)
Player of the match – Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)