Ace Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has become the fastest bowler to reach 100 T20I wickets. The leg spinner dismissed Pakistan batter, Mohammad Hafeez, to achieve the feat. Rashid is only the fourth player to breach the 100-wicket mark in T20Is, with Shakib Al Hasan, Lasith Malinga and Tim Southee the other three players to do so. Rashid achieved the landmark in his 53rd match to go past Malinga, who had taken his 100th wicket in the 76th game.
Rashid’s outstanding spell of 2-26 went in vain though as Asif Ali produced a deja vu innings to take Pakistan over the line. With 24 needed off 2 overs, Afghanistan had high hopes of outstaging Pakistan but Ali smashed Karim Janat for four sixes in an over give Pakistan their third win. Babar Azam also made an important contribution and helped Pakistan recover from early blows with a solid 51 run knock.
Earlier, Afghanistan had given Pakistan a target of 148 to chase. Skipper Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib scored 35 each to take Afghanistan to a respectable total after the top order was blown away by Pakistan pacers.
Both Babar Azam and Mohammad Nabi praised Asif Ali after the match. “I was very confident Asif would get us out of any trouble we find ourselves in,” said Babar, whose team tops the Group 2 with six points in three matches.
“Asif’s hitting was clean and that’s why we selected him.”
“We didn’t start really well but the total on the board was decent but maybe not enough, only because of Asif,” said Nabi.