SHARJAH: Afghanistan registered their first ever series victory against Pakistan when they took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Twenty20 International rubber at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
After winning the first T20 by four wickets two days earlier, Afghanistan chased down Pakistan’s 130-6 for the loss of three wickets in 19.5 overs to go 2-0 up in the series.
After electing to bat first, Pakistan were in trouble early — losing opener Saim Ayub and Abdullah Shafique on the second and third balls of the match bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi. The Greenshirts were 20-3 inside four overs and stumbled to 63-5 by the end of the 11th over.
Imad Wasim and captain Shadab Khan then joined hands to add 67 runs for the sixth wicket to take Pakistan to 130-6 at the conclusion of their 20 overs.
Imad continued his good form with the bat to score his maiden half-century in T20Is. The left-handed all-rounder remained not out on a well-played 64 that came off 57 balls and contained three fours and two sixes. Shadab contributed 32 in 25 deliveries.
Fazalhaq claimed two wickets for 19 runs while captain Rashid Khan, Karim Janat and Naveenul Haq chipped in with one scalp apiece.
Although Afghanistan faced some anxious moments late in the chase, they were not in much trouble.
Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz made a steady 44 off 49 deliveries with the help of two fours and a six while Ibrahim Zadran hit three fours in his 40-ball 38.
Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi provided impetus at the backend of the innings to get their side over the line for a landmark victory. Najibullah and Nabi remained not out on 23 (12 balls) and 14 (9 balls), respectively.
Fast bowlers Ihsanullah and Zaman Khan took one wicket each for Pakistan.