We didn’t control our nerves at the end – Mohammad Nabi on defeat against Pakistan

The left-armer Farooqi had put Pakistan on the backfoot when he trapped Babar leg before wicket for a golden duck and then struck twice in his penultimate over before bowling two full tosses to Shah in the last over to end up with 3-34.

Babar has struggled in the Asia Cup after his four straight below-par scores of 10, 9, 14 and 0, but Pakistan’s middle-order has done well in the tournament in run-chases.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan (2-25) had newly crowned No. 1 T20 batter Mohammad Rizwan leg before wicket before Shadab Khan (36) and Iftikhar Ahmed (30) steadied the chase with a 42-run partnership.

But Afghanistan didn’t give up in the death overs and claimed six quick wickets once Fareed Khan (3-31), playing his first game in the tournament, had Iftikhar caught deep midwicket in the 16th over.

Shadab also went down in the next over as he top edged Rashid to backward point after hitting the leg-spinner for a six, but couldn’t resist going for another big hit.

Earlier, after being put in to bat Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai perished against Pakistan pace inside the batting powerplay. Spinners Mohammad Nawaz (1-23) and Shadab (1-27) dried out the runs in the middle overs as Afghanistan batters struggled to push the scoring rate.

Shadab claimed the key wicket of Najibullah Zadran (10) and Haris Rauf varied his pace in the death to finish with 2-26 as he got rid of top-scorer Ibrahim Zadran (35).

“The boys were brilliant with the ball and in the field, but again we didn’t finish well,” Nabi said. “We didn’t control our nerves at the end. We gave two options to the bowlers, slower balls and yorkers, and sadly we couldn’t execute it when we needed to.”


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