Sharjah, Mar 28 (IANS): Stand-in captain Shadab Khan's all-round show powered Pakistan to a 66-run win over Afghanistan in the third T20I of the three-match series at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday, here.
This was Pakistan's consolation win in the T20I series as Afghanistan had already clinched the series by winning the first two matches by six and seven wickets, respectively.
Shadab Khan was awarded the player of the Match for his impressive all-round performance in the third game, scoring a crucial 28 off 17 and picking up three wickets in his four-over quota after conceding 13 runs.
After being asked to bat, Pakistan put up a commanding total of 182/7 courtesy 49 off 40 balls from young opening batter Saim Ayub and cameos from Shadab (28) and Iftikhar Ahmed (31).
For Afghanistan, Mujeeb (2/28) was the pick of the bowlers, whereas Rashid Khan (1/31), Fazal Haq Farooqi (1/25), Fareed Ahmad (1/28), Mohammad Nabi (1/32), and Karim Janat (1/32) got one wicket apiece.
In response, Afghanistan didn't manage to replicate the success of the first two games and fell short off 66 runs as they were bundled out at 116 runs in the 19th over.
Chasing 183 to win, Afghanistan batters for the first time in the series were never allowed to settle in by Pakistan's bowlers as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals.
Afghanistan commenced their innings with a careful approach, but Ihsanullah and Mohammad Wasim struck in the powerplay, dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz (18) and Sediqullah Atal (11).
Then, Shadab's superb bowling performance continued to put Afghanistan under pressure as he took the wickets of Ibrahim Zadran (3) and Usman Ghani (15). Moreover, Tayyab Tahir and Mohammad Haris collaborated to execute a run-out, which resulted in the dismissal of Nabi for 17.
For Pakistan, young pacers Ihsanullah and leg-spinner Shadab bagged three wickets apiece. The latter also became the first Pakistan bowler to take 100 wickets in the shortest format. He achieved the feat by dismissing Usman Ghani in the 12th over of the innings.