It was an emotionally-charged clash between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 2022 Asia Cup on Thursday, with the Babar Azam-led side registering a dramatic one-wicket victory in Sharjah. After they were struggling at 118/9 in 18.5 overs chasing a 130-run target, Naseem Shah sealed a thrilling win for Pakistan with two sixes off the first two deliveries in the final over of the game. The win also secured Pakistan’s passage to the final of the tournament, where they take on the Sri Lankan side.
The match was marred by an ugly clash between Pakistan’s Asif Ali and Afghanistan pacer Fareed Ahmed, after the latter had dismissed him in the penultimate over of the game. Fareed’s comments to Asif after the dismissal seemed to trigger the Pakistan batter, who raised his bat before both were pulled apart by other Afghan cricketers and the umpires. The incident was discussed at length by a number of former Pakistan cricketers but Javed Miandad, the former captain of the side, lashed into Afghanistan side for poor behaviour in the game.
Miandad stated that the behaviour had hurt him because Afghanistan used to ‘train in Pakistan’ during their initial years in international cricket, and he had himself given Afghan players “personal coaching.”
“I was very happy with the way Pakistan played. And I’m very disappointed with the opposition, because their behaviour was so bad. These guys used to practice in Pakistan, look at their language, look at their faces. What do they want? Do they consider themselves bigger? They haven’t even started playing cricket. Have they lost their minds?” Miandad said in an interaction with Sports Paktv.
“They have learnt from us. I’ve personally given them coaching. I was so angry last night with the way they were behaving. They’re suddenly considering themselves as superstars. Your cricket is nothing right now. Be like a cricketer, learn more. You have to be sincere and humble, learn to respect,” Miandad further added.
The loss knocked Afghanistan out of the Asia Cup, and the side will play for pride in its final match of the tournament on Thursday against India – who are also eliminated.
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