It was a thrilling Super 4 encounter between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Wednesday, with Babar Azam’s men registering a thrilling one-wicket victory in Sharjah. Chasing 130 runs to win in the game, Pakistan were on the verge of conceding a defeat when they had lost nine wickets for 118; however, Naseem Shah secured a stunning win for Pakistan with two successive sixes off the first two deliveries in Fazalhaq Farooqi’s final over of the match.
The match, however, was marred by unpleasant scenes on the pitch during the penultimate over of the game, when Afghanistan seamer Fareed Ahmed had a mouthful to utter to Pakistan batter, Asif Ali, as he sent him packing on the fifth ball of the over. In turn, Asif raised his bat, seemingly threatening the bowler to hit him. While both players were separated by fellow teammates and the umpires, it soon became the talk of the town.
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Following the game, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt also spoke in detail about the same, insisting that Afghanistan had first crossed the line with Ahmed calling out Asif.
“When Asif was dismissed, he was leaving the pitch. But the bowler stood on his way and he abused Asif. I know you have the desperation to win, but there’s a line you shouldn’t cross. There’s a thing called respect for the opposition. As long as they continue to behave this way, they won’t succeed,” said Butt.
“It’s a game. Everyone thought Pakistan would lose after Asif’s wicket. No one thought Naseem would hit two sixes. Even I felt a little strange when I saw the bowler behaving that way. It’s just a game of cricket.”
Butt further said that the way Pakistan celebrated the victory against Afghanistan showed that it was a strong reply to the incident in the 19th over of the game.
“I think it’s just the way they reacted, that inspired us to win. And you can see the reactions from Pakistan players after that, it was definitely in reply to that incident. The way Khushdil sprinted, the way Hasan Ali celebrated… They haven’t reacted in that way even after beating India,” said the former Pakistan skipper.
“I think it was too far across the line. And then, they started crying. You don’t cross the line first.”
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