Naseem’s last-ball heroics reminded everyone of last year’s Asia Cup as he propelled his team to a nail-biting one-wicket victory
The second One Day International (ODI) of three-match series between Afghanistan and Pakistan went down the wire in Hambantota on Thursday. Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah’s last-ball heroics reminded everyone of last year’s Asia Cup as he hit a four on the second-to-last ball of the game, propelling his team to a nail-biting one-wicket victory.
However, it was Naseem’s thoughtful gesture that drew attention. The 20-year-old dedicated the victory to all-rounder Shadab Khan, who unfortunately had to walk back due to a melodramatic Mankad just when he was about to reach his fifty as well as seal the game.
Shadab was dramatically mankad by Afghanistan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi in the second last over of the game. The all-rounder was impressively batting on 48; however, in a rush to rotate the strike, he left the crease even before the ball was bowled. Farooqi took the opportunity and dismissed Shadab at the non-striker’s end, which left the match hanging in between.
Not only this, the 24-year-old was also robbed off a no-ball, which was over his waist height at 48.6 over bowled by Abdul Rahman. But as fate would have it, that delivery went straight out of the park for a six.
The controversial dismissal and umpiring decisions sparked a debate on social media, and Afghanistan was largely trolled for going against the spirit of the game.The three-match series between Pakistan and Afghanistan will conclude with the final ODI scheduled on Friday in Colombo. After that, both teams will participate in the Asia Cup starting from August 30.