Experienced Shoaib Malik conjured up a crucial unbeaten 51 under pressure as Pakistan survived a scare from Afghanistan, winning their ‘Super Four’ match of the Asia Cup 2018 by three wickets in Abu Dhabi.
Chasing 258 to win, Pakistan overhauled the target with just three balls to spare with Shoaib playing the match-winning knock.
Pakistan required 10 runs from the last over and Shoaib dispatched pacer Aftab Alam for a six and four after playing a dot ball.
Before Shoaib, Imam-ul-Haq (80) and Babar Azam (60) hit patient half-centuries in a 154-run stand but the slow run rate made it difficult for Pakistan.
Earlier, after electing to bat first, Hashmatullah Shahidi (97) missed out on his maiden ODI hundred by just three runs after skipper Asghar Afghan hit a combative 67 off 56 balls as Afghanistan scored a fighting 257 for six.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the match:
Great win Pakistan! What a game of cricket, Afghanistan fought hard. Masterful knock by Shoaib Malik. Well played Imam and Babar. Keep up the good work 🇵🇰
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) September 21, 2018
Amazing work @realshoaibmalik Bhai 😍 You are a true champion & an absolute #GOAT. Lion hearted effort. Congrats @TheRealPCB & commiserations @ACBofficials. Well played @iShaheenAfridi, @mnawaz94, @babarazam258, @ImamUlHaq12. Unlucky @rashidkhan_19, @Mujeeb_R88 & @MohammadNabi007 pic.twitter.com/wlpGxopNoE
— Imran Khan (@ImeeK218) September 21, 2018
Pakistan have won the match but Afghanistan surely has won the hearts! This match should be an eye opener for Pakistan. No more complacency, stop taking your place in team for granted.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) September 21, 2018
Congratulations Pakistan. Great job guys. Well played Afghanistan, put up a good fight.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 21, 2018
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) September 21, 2018
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) September 21, 2018
Pakistan's best player under pressure is still Shoaib Malik
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 21, 2018
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) September 21, 2018
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 21, 2018
What a class act, Shoaib Malik.
Showing such heart after a tough competition, lifting up a devastated young opponent. https://t.co/EyTue56rLJ
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) September 22, 2018
He broke Afghan hearts by holding his nerve and claiming a half-century to give Pakistan victory in the final over – @realshoaibmalik is named Player of the Match after an epic #PAKvAFG battle! 👏#AsiaCup2018 pic.twitter.com/sJeHWc13bI
— ICC (@ICC) September 21, 2018