Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan has become the fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in T20I cricket. Rashid dismissed Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan to leapfrog Lasith Malinga. The ace spinner achieved the feat in his 53rd match, while Malinga had taken 76 matches to breach the mark. Rashid also became the fourth bowler to take 100 wickets in T20I cricket after Malinga, Shakib Al Hasan and Tim Southee.
Meanwhile, Rashid’s brilliant spell of 2-26 cannot force a win for Afghanistan as they went down to Pakistan by 5 wickets. However, they could be proud of their performance given that they fought for the win till the penultimate over. If not Asif Ali’s four sixes in the 19th over of Karim Janat, Afghanistan might well have beaten Pakistan. Nevertheless, the performance will give the team a lot of confidence for the team’s next match against Namibia.
Earlier, Babar Azam had also scored 51 in Pakistan’s chase to help the team recover from early blows. Meanwhile, handy knocks from Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib, who scored 35 each helped Afghanistan post 147-6. The team was jolted by early blows but the duo added 76 runs for the seventh wicket to take Afghanistan to some respectability.
Speaking about Asif Ali, the hard hitter had played a similar inning against New Zealand as well. Both Mohammad Nabi and Babar Azam praised Ali after his match-winning knock.
“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.