Afghanistan secure historic T20I series win against Pakistan

Rashid Khan’s squad did their country and fans proud on Sunday night when Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 7 wickets, with only one ball remaining, in a nail-biting T20I match in Sharjah.

Slow and steady, the Afghanistan team played a solid game, without taking unnecessary risks as they chased down a 131-run target set by Pakistan who had won the toss and opted to bat first.

Taking to twitter soon after the match ended, the Afghanistan Cricket Board stated: “What a momentous occasion for Afghanistan cricket!

“AfghanAtalan have created history by securing their first-ever T20I series win over traditional rivals Pakistan. It’s a triumph of grit, courage, and teamwork.”

Fans also took to twitter to congratulate the team. Hameed Shuja wrote: “Nobody should call this ‘unbelievable’. I totally believed this day was coming. We have finally floored a cricketing giant. The floodgates have opened. Afghanistan are here and we are to be taken seriously from now on. Absolutely proud of my #AfghanAtalan.”

Indian cricket fans also came out in support of the Afghanistan team as congratulations poured in. Even some Pakistani fans congratulated the team. One Pakistani fan said: “Afghanistan people deserve this happiness. Happy for them.”

But others were not quite so forgiving. Pakistan cricket commentator Ehsan Qureshi said on twitter that the series loss to Afghanistan was “shameful”.

“After losing to Bangladesh (1999 Northampton) Ireland (Kingston 2007), now @ACBofficials (Sharjah 2023). A shameful defeat & series loss,” he said adding that “Pakistan Cricket in disarray”.

Sunday’s thrilling win was the second successive win for Afghanistan against Pakistan – sealing the series win with a game to spare. The team’s solid bowling performance set them up for the win. But it was Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi who hung around till the end to propel their team to victory. 

Afghanistan found themselves requiring 22 off the final two overs on a pitch where that sort of scoring is notoriously difficult. But, again, Nabi was there for the team and a six off the first ball of the final over gave the team the advantage they needed. As one cricket expert said after the match, “Afghanistan have never had anything given to them easy, but what they’ve just gone out and earned will taste the sweetest of all.”