Asif Ali scored an unbeaten 25 runs off just 7 balls to power Pakistan to a five-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Match 24 of T20 World Cup 2021 and put them on course for the semifinals.
Afghanistan looked to take the game away from Pakistan after setting a total of 147/6 and restricting their scoring for much of the reply. But Asif changed the dynamics with four big sixes as Pakistan secured their third successive win with six balls remaining.
His heroics were needed as, although skipper Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman made 51 and 30, respectively, the rest of Pakistan’s batters had struggled to find a rhythm. Mohammad Rizwan departed for eight while Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik scored just 10 and 19.
Batting first, Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib made 35 not out each and Najibullah Zadran added 22 as Afghanistan recovered from the early jolts given by Pakistan.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
I had seen Asif Ali a few times before and thought he was a powerful batsman. But this level of hitting is insane.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 29, 2021
Asif Ali you beauty!!!
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 29, 2021
Remember the name @AasifAli2018
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) October 29, 2021
Asif Ali showed lot of confidence by refusing single on the last ball and finishing it in style by hitting those four big 6 in the next over .. clean and powerful hitter 👍 #AFGvPAK #T20WorldCup @StarSportsIndia
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) October 29, 2021
Sensational Asif Ali 😲😳
— Carlos Brathwaite (@CRBrathwaite26) October 29, 2021
— Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) October 29, 2021
Dealt the heaviest of blows – couldn’t be happier for Asif Ali
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) October 29, 2021
— Umar Gul (@mdk_gul) October 29, 2021
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) October 29, 2021
What a knock!! @AasifAli2018 👏🏼Proud of this team and the way they have been performing in this mega event Alhamdulillah! Congrats everyone on the 3rd consecutive win 🎉 #PakvsAfg #PakistanZindabad pic.twitter.com/26W66FTcup
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) October 29, 2021
That’s exceptional finishing skills from Asif Ali! Some player that.. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) October 29, 2021
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) October 29, 2021