Thursday December 08, 2022

T20 World Cup: Harbhajan Singh lauds Asif for match-wining performance

Asif Ali smashes four sixes in second-last over to help Pakistan beat Afghanistan by five wickets

By Web Desk
October 30, 2021
Asif Ali, Shadab Khan celebrate after winning T20 clash against Afghanistan. — AFP
Asif Ali, Shadab Khan celebrate after winning T20 clash against Afghanistan. — AFP

Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh lauded Pakistani batter Asif Ali  for his match-winning sixes against Afghanistan in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

Asif Ali smashed four sixes in the penultimate over to help Pakistan achieve a hard-fought five-wicket win over the Afghan side.

With Pakistan needing 24 runs off the final two overs, Asif lifted paceman Karim Janat's first, third, fifth, and sixth balls over the boundary to help Pakistan overhaul a tricky 148-run target.

Asif Ali had refused to take a single in the last ball of the 18th over when Shadab Khan asked for it — signaling self-confidence in his abilities to lead Pakistan to a win.

Taking to Twitter, Singh said Asif Ali showed a lot of confidence by refusing the single on the last ball and finishing it in style by hitting those four big sixes in the next over.

"... clean and powerful hitter."

Asif Ali finished with 25 off just seven balls with four sixes and a single, leaving Janat and all the other Afghan players helpless in the end.

The victory gave Pakistan a third win in as many games in Group 2 of the Super 12 stages, almost assuring a semi-final place, needing just one more win from their last two games.

Afghanistan scored a fighting 147-6 in their 20 overs with Gulbadin Naib and skipper Mohammad Nabi each scoring 35.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was all praises for Asif.

"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."

— Additional input from AFP