Pakistan have put one foot in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup after Asif Ali’s scintillating power-hitting secured their nervy five-wicket victory against Afghanistan on Friday.
The 2009 champions restricted neighbours Afghanistan to a modest 147-6 in a match between the top two teams in Group II.
Skipper Babar Azam anchored Pakistan’s chase with a fluent 51 but it was Asif who smashed four sixes in the penultimate over from Karim Janat to clinch the see-saw contest with six balls to spare.
Having beaten India and New Zealand in their first two matches, Pakistan are effectively in the last four with clashes against minnows Namibia and Scotland remaining.As soon as Pakistan beat Afghanistan in today’s T20 World Cup match, people belonging to all walks of life took to social media to heap praise on the power-hitter.
People across the country also took to the streets to dance over Pakistan’s thumping victory against Afghanistan.
Within seconds, Asif Ali became the top trend on Pakistani Twitter.
Skipper Babar was over the moon after the emphatic victory.
Alhumdulillah, 3/3!Afghanistan fought well. A brilliant display of bowling from our team, especially Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imad. Fakhar was just remarkable and the awesome finish from Asif Ali was indeed the cherry on top. All eyes set on the next one! 🙌👏🤲 #WhyNotMeriJaan pic.twitter.com/u13FKuAKxP
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) October 29, 2021
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja in a tweet said “#asifyoubeauty incredible hitting under pressure. Sensational Congrats boys keep up the good work.”
“Asif Ali is the best finisher in the game congratulations Pakistan . What a performance,” said former legendary pacer Wasim Akram in a tweet.
Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar also echoed the similar sentiments.
Politicians belonging to both opposition and ruling party including Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the Pakistan cricket team for their brilliant performance.
Congratulations Team Pakistan. Impressive cricket by Team Afghanistan. Never have I seen a cricketing nation rise as rapidly as Afghanistan in international cricket & become so competitive. With this competitive spirit & talent the future of cricket is bright in Afghanistan.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 29, 2021
Asif aliiiiiii cheeta!!!! Brilliant performance yet again greens. Very well played Afghanistan. The afghan showed real character to fight all the way
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) October 29, 2021
Wow! Muhammad Asif!! What an exhibition of power hitting!! What an innings!Thank you for another glorious victory Team Pakistan 💚🇵🇰
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) October 29, 2021
Another superb performance by Pakistan today at the #T20WorldCup. Congratulations on the win. Brilliant game by Afghanistan who have shown their mettle as well. #PakvsAfg
— Senator Ejaz Chaudhary (@EjazChaudhary) October 29, 2021
A great match between neighbours, Congratulations Pakistan well played Afghanistan #PakvsAfg
— Senator Shibli Faraz (@shiblifaraz) October 29, 2021
Beautiful game and a spectacular finish by Asif Ali. Pakistan wins third consecutive match in T20 World Cup. Congratulations to the nation. Well done team Pakistan! #PakVsAfg
— Abdul Aleem Khan (@aleemkhan_pti) October 29, 2021
In a short video message the man of the match said, “remeber the name Asif Ali”.
جیت کا سفر جاری رکھنے پر قومی ٹیم کو مبارکبادافغانستان کے لیے اچھا کھیل پیش کرنے پر شاباش
— Siraj ul Haq (@SirajOfficial) October 29, 2021