Pakistan are struggling to find their footing after Afghanistan’s spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb and Nabi dismissed wicketkeeper-batsmen and openers Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez and Fakhr Zaman.
Pakistan needs 148 runs to win the third T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan and qualify for the semi-finals.
Captain Babar Azam and Fakhr Zaman formed a strong partnership before Nabi LBWed the left-arm batsman.
Muhammad Hafeez never seemed to settle on the crease and an economic over by Rashid Khan put him under more pressure. The Afghan spinner dismissed Hafeez when he tried to hit him out of the park, but was caught by Gulbuddin.
Earlier, after battling Pakistan’s bowling attack, Afghanistan regained the momentum thanks to a brilliant partnership between Gulbuddin and Nabi, who took their country to 147 at the end of 20 overs.
Earlier, with three wickets falling, Afghanistan was already in trouble when Hassan Ali took a wicket off his first ball off Rehmanullah Garbaz and caught by captain Babar Azam.
Afghanistan remained on the scoreboard with sixes and fours, but the Pakistani bowlers did not shy away from taking wickets.
Karim Janat tried to hit a six to Emad Wasim but the ball went into the hands of Fakhr Zaman, Afghanistan’s fifth wicket fell.
Earlier, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first against Pakistan.
In the ICC T20 World Cup, captain Babar Azam and the rest of Pakistan’s squad have played good cricket so far. However, Man In Green will have a hand today (Friday) as he tries to deal with Afghanistan’s spin bowlers.
Pakistan entered the match with confidence after winning their first two matches against heavyweight India and New Zealand.
With the first two wins, Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals are bright. However, given the situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Afghanistan’s performance so far, Afghanistan is also considered a dangerous side.
Pakistan had beaten India by 10 wickets in the first match. They easily defeated the Kiwis in their second match as well.
Afghanistan has emerged as a dangerous team in the tournament as it easily defeated defending champions West Indies in their warm-up match. They also beat Scotland by a huge margin of 130 runs in the Group Two match.
In bowling, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman will give tough time to the batsmen of the opposing team while Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shehzad and Asghar Afghan are in good form in terms of batting performance.
Thaqleen called for the plans to be put into practice.
A day earlier, interim head coach Thaqleen Mushtaq told a press conference, “We know Afghanistan is a very good team but our plans are good and we need to implement them as we have. What happened in the first two matches, “Mushtaq said in a press conference In dubai.
The interim coach further said that T20 is a game in which high and low should be expected.
“It’s not easy to score big on pitches because you have to be technically strong to play on such pitches,” he said.
“Rashid and Mujeeb are standard spinners and are doing well in their team as well as in private leagues around the world, but we have plans against them,” Mushtaq said
Talking about the changes in the batting order, he said: “The whole team is playing well. We are happy with this combination.”
We are not thinking of removing Fakhr Zaman from One Down. He played well in warm-up matches.