Pakistan teenager Naseem Shah smashed back-to-back sixes in the last over against Afghanistan on Wednesday for a one-wicket victory that sets up the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka.
Needing 11 off the last over and only one wicket in hand, the 19-year-old Shah clobbered consecutive sixes off fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi’s two low full tosses to take Pakistan to 131-9.
In a Super 4 game dominated by bowlers, Pakistan also did well to restrict Afghanistan to 129-6 through its pacers and spinners. Shah had earlier clean bowled captain Mohammad Nabi for a golden duck to finish with 1-19.
Pakistan’s win also ended India’s slim chances to reach next Sunday’s final.
Tempers flared toward the end when fast bowler Fareed Khan reduced Pakistan to 118-9 in the 19th over by having Asif Ali (16) dismissed.
Both players exchanged words as Asif raised his bat close to Fareed’s face and they pushed each other before Afghanistan players rushed to separate the two.
A jubilant Shah threw away his helmet and batting gloves while sprinting toward the dressing room once his last hit sailed over long off and his teammates also rushed onto the field to celebrate the breathtaking win.
“To be honest, it was quite a tensed environment in the dressing room,” Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said. “I was in the dressing room … I thought it is cricket and I have seen Naseem bat like this, so I had a little bit of belief.”