Watch: Nabi wins hearts with priceless gesture for wheelchair-bound cancer fighter as Afghanistan enter Asia Cup Super 4

Published on Aug 31, 2022 06:28 PM IST

With their second win in as many games, Afghanistan on Tuesday became the first team to qualify for the Super 4s of the ongoing Asia Cup.

Mohammad Nabi with Afghanistan fan Gulpari Safi(Twitter)
Mohammad Nabi with Afghanistan fan Gulpari Safi(Twitter)
By, New Delhi

Afghanistan on Tuesday outwitted Bangladesh to notch a convincing seven-wicket victory and a berth in the Super-4 of the Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah. The high-flying Afghan side relied heavily on its spin attack comprising off-break bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman and leg-spinner Rashid Khan. The two shared six wickets between them and restricted Bangladesh to 127-7 after Shakib Al Hasan elected to bat first. Also Read | Umar Gul's wife makes special request to husband ahead of Afghanistan's Asia Cup clash against Pakistan

Chasing a modest 128 for the win, Najibullah Zadran notched up blistering 43* off 17 balls and hit five of his six sixes at the death. Ibrahim Zadran also made a sedate unbeaten 42 off 41 balls as Afghanistan cruised to 131-3 with nine balls to spare.

Hours after Afghanistan's win, a clip of their skipper Mohammad Nabi started doing rounds on social media. He met wheelchair-bound Gulpari Safi, who is 75 and battling cancer, as per Gulf News. Safi and her son Khyber witnessed their favourite team from the VIP box of Sharjah Cricket Stadium. “Mohammad Nabi is a very good player and a humble person,” she was quoted as saying by the UAE media outlet.

Earlier, Afghanistan had made an imperious start to the six-team competition when they routed five-time champions Sri Lanka in their opening game. Three days later, they became the first team to reach the Super 4 round.

Mujeeb removed Bangladesh's top three batters, including the key wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, inside the batting powerplay. He returned 3-18, while Rashid ripped through the middle-order with his sharp googlies and variations. The seasoned leg-spinner finished with bowling figures of 3-22.

“Everyone knows Rashid and Mujeeb are world-class spinners, that’s why we were in the game in the first 10 overs," Nabi said after the game. "Everyone knows we have power hitters in the death and that’s why we made sure not to lose early wickets, so that our power hitters could finish the game.”

Nabi said that bowling first turned out to be better for their side, as it helped them get an idea about the pitch.

"The pitch was new and nobody had played on it. Bowling first was better, we got an idea of what the pitch was. That is why we took early wickets and put our opponents under pressure," he said in the post-match press conference.

"We do not trust Sharjah to help us hit 200 runs all the time. Sometimes, lower totals are tough to chase. Batters did not throw early wickets and we targetted bowlers later," he added.

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