In recent times, a fierce cricketing rivalry has developed between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This intensity reached new heights on Thursday during an unforgettable match. Afghan fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi surprised everyone by executing a “Mankad” dismissal in the final over, putting Pakistan on the brink of defeat. However, the tables turned thanks to Naseem Shah’s remarkable performance.
Pakistan secured an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, winning the second ODI by just one wicket in Hambantota. The Pakistani team’s nail-biting run-chase seemed to be slipping away towards the end, but everything changed in the final over bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi, resulting in an exhilarating and unforgettable conclusion to the match, with Naseem Shah as the standout player.
With 11 runs needed from the final six balls, Pakistan was hanging on, with Shadab Khan positioned at the non-striker’s end as Farooqi prepared for his last over. Shadab was eager to get on strike instead of tailender Naseem Shah and started running from the non-striker’s end before Farooqi had even bowled the ball. Farooqi, who was alert to the possibility of a run-out at the non-striker’s end, quickly removed the bails as soon as Shadab left his crease, dismissing him. At this point, it seemed like the game was practically over, but Shah revived some hope by confidently hitting a boundary off the next delivery, bringing the required runs down to seven from five balls.
Farooqi managed to tighten the game by conceding only one run off the next two balls. However, a dramatic misfield on the fourth ball allowed Haris Rauf to take three runs, putting Shah back on strike. Seizing the opportunity, the 20-year-old Shah struck the ball with a forceful swing, and though it resulted in a thick edge, the ball flew to the boundary. Naseem Shah jubilantly removed his helmet and sprinted in celebration. Interestingly, this finish resembled Naseem’s impressive performance against the same bowler during the 2022 Asia Cup, prompting fans to acclaim the match as yet another masterpiece in the ever-growing Afghanistan-Pakistan cricketing rivalry.
— Hitler Mishra (@HitlerMish5814) August 25, 2023
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— FanCode (@FanCode) August 24, 2023
— Anonymous Kashur (@dodmut_Chaman) August 24, 2023
Naseem the Match Winner always owns Farooqi pic.twitter.com/fNoto91mLc
— Shaheen Fan Club ® (@ShaheenFC_) August 24, 2023