Watch: Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran shatters two T20I world records with 6 sixes against Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Published on Aug 31, 2022 09:50 AM IST

Najibullah went past former England captain Eoin Morgan and Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera to become the batter with most sixes in death overs of a T20I run chase. That was not the only world-beating feat Najibullah achieved with his breathtaking hitting against Bangladesh.

Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran plays a shot during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket Group B match against Bangladesh at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah(AFP)
Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran plays a shot during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket Group B match against Bangladesh at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah(AFP)

Afghanistan needed 67 runs in 7 overs on a pitch that had a lot to offer for the spinners when Najibullah Zadran walked out to bat against Bangladesh in an important Asia Cup Group B match at Sharjah on Tuesday. The left-hander didn't start off fluently - he scored 1 off 4 balls - and despite a couple of boundaries from partner Ibrahim Zadran, the required run rate kept climbing. It was the penultimate ball of the 16th over that set things in motion for Najibullah and the match started to slowly turn towards Afghanistan. Bangladesh spinner Mahedi Hasan tried to bowl it wide outside the off stump but Najibullah dragged it towards mid-wicket and made a good connection to send it deep into the stands. That was just the beginning of his six-hitting spree.

In the next over, Najibullah smashed Bangladesh's death over specialist Mustafizur Rahman for a couple of sixes. He hit a couple more off Saifuddin in the 18th over to completely turn the match on its head. In the punultimate over, Najibullah hit a straight six off off-spinner Mosaddek to finish off the match and take Afghanistan to the Super 4 stage of Asia Cup 2022.

In the process, Najibullah went past former England captain Eoin Morgan and Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera to become the batter with most sixes in death overs of a T20I run chase. The Afghanistan left-hander now has 18 sixes compared to Morgan and Perera's 17 each in death overs of a T20I run chase.

That was not the only world-beating feat Najibullah achieved with his breathtaking hitting against Bangladesh. He also became the only cricketer to hit more than 50 sixes in death overs in T20Is. He currently leads the pack with 53 sixes. He and South Africa's David Miller were tied in the top spot with 47 sixes each in death overs before the start of Bangladesh vs Afghanistan match.

Watch Video: Najibullah Zadran hits six sixes and four, shatters two T20I world records

"The wicket was a bit low so I tried to play straight. I took a few balls and played my natural game then after that. I don't look at the boundary. I just look at the bowler and look to hit," Najibullah said after his match-winning knock of 43* off 17 balls that led Afghanistan to a seven-wicket victory.

Afghanistan had earlier beaten Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the tournament opener. The next match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be a do-or-die for both sides as the winner will qualify for the Super 4 stage.

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