Asia Cup: India knocked out as Pakistan beat Afghanistan in low-scoring thriller | Cricket - Hindustan Times

India knocked out of Asia Cup after Pakistan beat Afghanistan in low-scoring Super 4 thriller

By, New Delhi
Sep 07, 2022 11:10 PM IST

The fate of the Indian team, which endured consecutive defeats in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2022, were completely dependent on the outcome of the clash between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Team India's campaign at the Asia Cup 2022 came to an end as Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 1 wicket in a last-over low-scoring thriller in the Super 4 match at Sharjah on Wednesday. The fate of the Men In Blue, who endured consecutive defeats in the Super 4 stage, were completely dependent on the outcome of the clash between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Only an Afghanistan win would have kept India in the contention for the final, but that was not to be. With the win, Pakistan have qualified for the final and will battle Sri Lanka in the summit clash on Sunday.

Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, R Ashwin and Deepak Hooda leave the field after the Asia Cup encounter against Sri Lanka(ANI)
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, R Ashwin and Deepak Hooda leave the field after the Asia Cup encounter against Sri Lanka(ANI)

Afghanistan, like India, are out of the tournament even though the two teams will now engage in a dead rubber on Thursday. A win for any of the team will only give them 2 points while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already secured four and cleared the path for the final. Ahead of the summit clash though, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will get one more chance to have a crack at each other and an opportunity to fine tune their team combinations in the last Super 4 match of the Asia Cup 2022 on Friday.

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Also Read: Pakistan vs Afghanistan Super 4 Match Highlights

Batting first, Afghanistan's innings could never quite get going as barring Ibrahim Zadran, who contributed with 35 - no batter managed to put up a significant contribution, and they ended up with a lowly 129/6. All five Pakistan bowlers got among the wickets with Haris Rauf being the standout performer with 2/26. Defending a low total, Afghanistan got off to a dream start when Fazalhaq Farooqi dismissed captain Babar Azam second ball of the innings for a golden duck. Three overs later, Fakhar Zaman was run out and Pakistan were 18/2 in quick time.

Mohammad Rizwan, who earlier in the day became the No. 1 ranked T20I batter continued his fine run in the Asia Cup, and along with Iftikhar Ahmed's 30 and Shadab Khan's 36 kept Pakistan in the hunt. However, drama unfolded when Rashid dismissed Shadab and then Farooqi followed with a brilliant two wicket over. With 21 needed off 12, Asif Ali smacked a six to settle some Pakistan nerves, but the next ball Fareed Malik foxed him with a slower bouncer.

A heated exchange between the two did not take focus away from either team, and with nine wickets down and 11 to win off the last over, Afghanistan were favourites to pull off an upset, but it was not to be. Naseem Shah took two balls, smacking two back-to-back full tosses off Farooqi and dispatched the ball over the ropes to trigger euphoria in the Pakistan camp and heartbreak in the Afghan unit.

India started their campaign in the continental tournament on a stellar note, beating Pakistan by five wickets in the Group A encounter. They then went to secure a 40-run victory over minnows Hong Kong to become the first team from their group to advance to the Super 4. However, they suffered two nail-biting defeats in the next round, as both games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka were decided in the final over.

It all started with the contest against Pakistan, which India lost by five wickets as Babar Azam and Co. chased down the 182-run target with two balls to spare. Sri Lanka then stunned India in the following game, defeating them by six wickets in another humdinger. Chasing 174 to win, the Lankan outfit completed the run chase with one ball to spare.

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