Pakistan’s Naseem Shah registered his name in history while leading his team to victory in a thrilling encounter against Afghanistan on Wednesday. The 19-year-old became the youngest ever bowler in T20I to complete 50 wickets.
Naseem, who made his international debut in 2019 dethroned fellow Pakistani pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi to become the youngest bowler to complete 50 wickets at an age of 19 years and 204 days. The youngster dismissed Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi to complete the milestone.
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Along with this, he also created history with his bat as he deposited two colossal sixes in the stands in the final over of the game to take his side to a win. With this, Shah became the first ever number 10 or 11 batters in the history of T20I to finish a run chase with two sixes.
Put in to bat first, Afghanistan got off to a decent start before the fall of both the openers put a break on the scoring rate. A partnership between Ibrahim Zadran and Karim Janat attempted to get the Afghan innings back on track but Pakistani bowlers did not lose their grip. Unable to accelerate their scoring rate, Afghanistan was restricted to 129.
With 130 needed to win, the run chase looked easy for the Babar Azam -led size. However, Afghanistan looked in no mood to give up easily. The fall of Azam and Fakhar Zaman cheaply jolted Pakistan’s run chase and with the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan in the 9th over, Afghanistan was right back in the game.
Tight spells by Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan did not give Pakistan an opportunity to pace up the scoring. The pressure of mounting the required run rate triggered a collapse in the Pakistan batting lineup. And what looked like an easy chase at the start of the innings, boiled down to 11 needed off the last over with only one wicket in hand.
Naseem Shah with consecutive sixes on the first two deliveries of the final over which took Pakistan past the finish line in a nail-biting contest. The youngster’s heroics ensured Pakistan’s qualification to the final of the Asia Cup and ended India’s hope to stay alive in the tournament.
Pakistan is now set to take on Sri Lanka on Friday, September 9, before clashing with them on Sunday for the Asia Cup title.
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