Following his side's six-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the first T20I, Pakistan skipper Shadab Khan said that sometimes losses like these can happen since the side is full of youngsters and tactically the team did well.
Mohammad Nabi and the Afghanistan bowlers' brilliant display helped the team beat Pakistan by 6 wickets in the first T20I of the three-match series in Sharjah on Friday. It has been over 11 years since the two teams first played each other and Rashid Khan's side has finally managed to win their first international match against Pakistan.
"I think tactics were fine. Sometimes these things can happen as we have a lot of youngsters on our side. We cannot give too many excuses as professionals. This is a different ball game altogether. In the bowling, we had so many positives. Ihsanullah was excellent and Zaman Khan as well. Both were making their debuts and were under pressure. We will give our 100 per cent in the next game," Shadab said in a post-match presentation.
Ihsanullah took two wickets on his international debut, ending up with figures of 2/17 in 3.5 overs. Zaman Khan also had figures of 0/19 in three overs and scored an unbeaten 8* with the bat.
It was a clinical performance by Afghanistan from start to finish as the hosts put on a great display despite losing the toss and being asked to bowl first.
Pakistan's innings never picked up any momentum as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals thanks to some disciplined bowling by the hosts.
Afghanistan bowlers managed to restrict the Pakistan batting line-up to just 92/9 in their 20 overs.
Imad Wasim (18), debutant Saim Ayub (17) and Tayyab Tahir (16) were notable contributors for Pakistan with the bat.
For Afghanistan, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi picked up two wickets each and gave away only 34 runs in the 11 overs between them.
Spin was dominant throughout the first innings as Rashid Khan joined the party and kept the scoring under control.
Although the target did not seem too challenging, the Pakistan bowlers were not going down without a fight.
Afghanistan's chase seemed to have been derailed as they looked in trouble at 45/4.
But the Nabi (38 off 38 balls) continued his excellence and showed his class, building an unbeaten partnership with Najibullah Zadran (17 off 23 balls) to guide Afghanistan home comfortably with more than two overs to spare.
Nabi won the 'Player of the Match' for his knock of 38 runs and spell of 2/12.
Pakistan will hope to bounce back from this loss in the second T20I on March 27, while Afghanistan sits on the cusp of sealing a historic series win. (ANI)