Pakistan lost the toss and Afghanistan opted to bat first. Hasmatullah and Asghar’s score of 50+ added up to the total run chase.
The few opening overs were quite dangerous for Pakistan as they were hit for boundaries. Things seem to go unwell for the team after the first few overs and the breaking up of the partnership of Hashmatullah Shahidi and Asghar. Hasmatullah did howvever manage to get a score of 97 runs (not out) at the end of the innings. Asghar mostly scored a couple of sixes. Hasmatullah also managed to score a handful of fours. Following that, he was bowled out by Shaheen Afridi and the partnership ended.
The Pakistan team began in the worst way possible, losing their opener Fakhar Zaman in the first over. The second wicket experienced a partnership of 154 runs between Imam Ul Haq and Babar Azam after which followed a couple of twists and turns.
Sarfraz Ahmad and a few others got dismissed way too early to have an impact on the game. In the end Shoaib Malik, often recognized as the hero of Pakistan in this Asia Cup series, showed his expertise. The whole team remained optimistic. Malik scored 10 runs off the last 5 balls, hitting the ball for a six and a four. This show of courage astonished the Pakistani fans, and didn’t leave him empty handed either. He was awarded with the man of the match award for his efforts.
It is true that the Pakistan team’s bowling and fielding was way off this match, as rash shots were executed and no balls were delivered from the scrambled minds of the players. However, the 154 run partnership and Shoaib Malik’s clutch hold against the Afghans allowed them to experience another day in the prestigious tournament.