Nabi gifts Afghanistan first win against Pakistan

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SHARJAH: Mohammad Nabi hit a timely run-a-ball 38 not out as Afghanistan recorded their maiden win against Pakistan in their first T20I here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
After restricting Pakistan to just 92-9 on a turning track Afghanistan overcame early hiccups to achieve the target with 13 balls to spare after losing four wickets in the process.
Nabi struck one six and three fours in his fine knock and added 53 for the fifth wicket unbroken stand with Najibullah Zadran who struck two fours in his 23-ball 17 not out.
Set to score a low target Afghans found it hard at times and lost four quick wickets.
It was debutant Ihsanullah who made his dream debut when he got rid of Ibrahim Zadran (9) and Gulbadin Naib (0) inside his first three balls.
Naseem Shah then removed Rahmanullah Gurbaz on a 17-ball 16, hitting one four and one six before Imad Wasim bowled Karim Janat (7) to reduce Afghanistan to 45-4 in the tenth over.
However Nabi and Zadran kept their nerves and took the game away from Pakistan by achieving their first-ever victory over Pakistan.
Ihsanullah, who had been declared as the best PSL bowler, was impressive by taking 2-17 in 3.5 overs.
Earlier after opting to bat first by Pakistan’s captain Shadab Khan it was not a rosy process as no Pakistani batsman could reach 20.
Pakistan, which had handed debut caps to four players, completely failed to show its character with Afghan bowlers taking wickets at regular intervals, denying the visitors any chance of settling down.
Imad Wasim top-scored 32-ball 18. Saim Ayub was off to a flier but failed to go deep, falling to Naveen-ul-Hq for a 15-ball 17, striking one six and two fours.
Tayyab Tahir made a nine-ball 16 which featured three fours but was held by Rashid Khan off his own bowling. Shadab Khan, the skipper, made 18-ball 12 with big hitting Azam Khan falling for a duck off to Mujeeb-ur-Rehman.
Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-13), Mujeeb-ur-Rehman (2-9) and Mohammad Nabi (2-12) damaged Pakistan’s batting which was without its key batsmen Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

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