In the high-voltage match between Pakistan and Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022 on Wednesday, Pakistan managed to hold on to their nerves and win by one wicket. Afghanistan batted first and set a target of 130 runs for the Pakistan team. In reply, Pakistan lost some early wickets but a good partnership between Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan, saw them close in towards victory. However, in a remarkable twist in the tale, Pakistan lost four quick wickets after the 17th over and were reeling at 119-9 by the end of 19th over of the innings. They now needed 11 runs required to win in the final over.
The absolute thriller between the two teams kept spectators at the edge of their seats. The match had so many twists and turns that there wasn’t a clear outcome till the start of 20th over during Pakistan’s chase.
Amid all the tension, one incident that took cricket fans by shock was the physical tussle between Pakistan batter Asif Ali and Afghanistan bowler Fareed Ahmad. It all happened in the 19th over, when Asif whacked Fareed’s fourth delivery for a big six and the equation came down to just 12 runs off eight balls. But in a dramatic fashion, Asif was out caught on the next delivery when Fareed banged it in short. Asif’s wicket led to celebrations among the Afghan players. But while walking off the pitch, words were exchanged between Asif and Fareed which quickly escalated into Asif lifting his bat in an aggressive manner with the intent of hittting Fareed but pulled the bat away at the last moment. However, the two shoved each other before players and on-field umpires brought things under control.
After the incident, former Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib expressed his opinion on the entire episode in a post on Twitter.
“This is stupidity at extreme level by Asif Ali and should be ban from the rest of the tournament, any bowler has the right to celebrate but being physical is not acceptable at all. @icc @ACCMedia1,” posted Gulbadin on his official Twitter account.
Gulbadin tagged the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in his tweet and added a snapshot of the verbal duel between Asif and Fareed.
It remains to be seen how the cricket fraternity and ICC respond to the episode between Asif and Fareed, that had unfolded on Wednesday.
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