Saim, Ihsanullah help Pakistan avoid whitewash

By our correspondent

SHARJAH: Pakistan downed Afghanistan by a massive margin of 66 runs to avert a whitewash in the three-match T20I series which concluded here on Monday night.

Young pacer Ihsanullah (3-29) and skipper Shadab Khan (3-13) played a key role in Pakistan’s bowling as the duo ripped through Afghanistan’s batting and the hosts were folded for just 116 in the 19th over while chasing 183.

Azmatullah Omarzai, who came as a concussion substituite for Najibullah Zadran who was hit by a deliver from Ihsanullah on his face, top-scored 21 which came off 20 balls, hitting two fours and one six.

Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who was bowled by Ihsanullah off a full toss,made a brisk 11-ball 18 which featured one six and one four. Mohammad Nabi belted a ten-ball 17, striking one four and one six before being got run out, a dismissal which put Afghanistan on the back foot at crunch time.

Skipper Rashid Khan tried to use long handle but failed to score big, falling for a 14-ball 16 which contained two fours and one six. Usman Ghani made a 17-ball 15 with one four.

Earlier Pakistan faced an early blow when Mohammad Haris (1) once again failed to play a solid knock.

Saim Ayub learnt from his failure in the first two games and staged a fine fightback, top-scoring a 40-ball 49 to form a solid foundation for his team which in the end was able to pile-up a decent total of 182-7.

Saim, who had a dream PSL this season, struck two sixes and four fours in his solid knock.

Iftikhar Ahmed, playing his first game on the tour, chipped in with a 25-ball 31, smacking two sixes. Iftikhar put on a good partnership with his skipper Shadab Khan who fell in the end after scoring a 17-ball 28, smacking five fours.

Spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rehman picked up 2-28.

Shadab, who also became the first Pakistani bowler to reach to 100 wickets milestone, was adjudged as man of the match while Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan won the man of the series award as Afghans sealed the series 2-1.






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