Asia Cup 2018: 'Shaken' Sarfraz Ahmed hails Afghanistan after a nail-biting encounter

Sarfraz complimented Afghan spinners as the best in the world right now.

Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Anuraag Peesara

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Not just Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, but his entire countrymen were holding their breath as a sturdy Afghan unit made them work very hard for a win. Inexperience clearly showcased itself in Afghanistan‘s performance and a player of Shoaib Malik’s caliber is always going to cash in on that.

Defending a par total of 257, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam added a 154-run partnership. It seemed like Pakistan were running away with the game, but Rashid Khan made things interesting. Eventually, Shoaib Malik’s unbeaten 51 helped them get over the line by the narrowest of margins.

After the game, skipper Sarfraz reckoned their team was shaken by the way Afghanistan fought. He also added that the Afghan spinners currently are the best in the world. Sarfraz went on to add that the team is highly motivated with their performance and are eagerly looking forward to their second marquee clash of the Asia Cup against India.

“We were shaken today. I think the way Imam, Babar and Shoaib played towards the end was fantastic, but to chase 250 in these conditions against the Afghanistan spinners who I think are the best in the world, you have to bat really well. We still get confidence from the way we won today. As you know, the team has improved a lot on its fielding over the last few years, but today we didn’t show that. Regardless, the team has been motivated by this performance,” said Sarfraz Ahmed.

Fielding and medium pacers let us down: Asghar Afghan

After congratulating Pakistan for their victory, Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan reckoned that their fielding and medium pacers let them down on the day. He also added that if they allow senior players like Shoaib Malik bat freely, the game automatically goes out of hand.

“I congratulate Pakistan, they played really well. It was a tough game which the whole crowd enjoyed,” Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan said at the post-match ceremony. “If you let a senior player like (Shoaib) Malik play his game, it’s difficult. Babar and Imam played really well too. But we were poor in the field and our medium pacers let us down.”

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