Pakistan set Afghanistan 131-run target in second T20I

27 March, 2023

 Pakistan set Afghanistan 131-run target in second T20I

SHARJAH        -        Pakistan have set Afghanistan a target of 131 runs after winning the toss and deciding to bat first during the second T20I of the three-match series in Sharjah on Sunday. Imad Wasim scored his maiden T20I fifty as Pakistan were restricted to 130- 6 in their allotted 20 overs. Imad remained unbeaten on 64 runs in 57 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes. Captain Shadab Khan also chipped in with a crucial contribution of 32 runs in 25 balls. Imad and Shadab added 66 runs in 54 balls for the sixth wicket partnership to help Pakistan post a competitive total on the board.

Pakistan once again got off to a poor start after pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi struck twice in the first over of the match to send Saim Ayub (0) and Abdullah Shafique (0) back to the hut. Shafique also became the first player to bag four ducks in a row in T20I cricket. Apart from Farooqi’s two scalps, Naveen-ul-Haq, Rashid Khan and Karim Janat claimed one wicket each. This is a must-win game for Pakistan as they are 1-0 down in the threematch series.

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There is only one change in the Shadab Khan-led unit as all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz has replaced Faheem Ashraf in the lineup. Ashraf only scored two runs in eight balls during the first T20I and didn’t bowl during Afghanistan’s run-chase. Shadab is leading the side in the absence of Babar Azam, who has been rested for the series. The Afghanistan T20I series is Pakistan’s first since their T20 World Cup campaign in Australia last year, where they were the runners-up. It must be noted that, while chasing a target of only 93 runs, Afghanistan reached home in 17.5 overs for the loss of four wickets during the first T20I on Friday. This was the first win for Afghanistan over Pakistan in international cricket. The third T20I of the series will be played on Monday, March 27, at the same venue