WATCH : Farooqi’s mankad goes in vain courtesy Naseem heroics

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In the thrilling context of the three-match ODI series, Pakistan established an insurmountable 2-0 advantage over Afghanistan. This pivotal situation arose after Pakistan secured a narrow victory by just one wicket in the second ODI held in Hambantota.

The match was marked by a remarkable turn of events during Pakistan’s challenging chase, where victory seemed improbable. The climax unfolded in the last over, which was bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi, and this intense sequence of events unfolded into a captivating finish for the ages, with Naseem Shah taking center stage.

In the final over, Pakistan required 11 runs to win from the remaining six balls. With Shadab Khan positioned at the non-striker’s end, the team held onto their hopes as Farooqi prepared for his final delivery. In an attempt to seize control of the strike from tailender Naseem Shah, the batter began running from the non-striker’s end before Farooqi released the ball.

Anticipating a potential run-out at the non-striker’s end, Farooqi displayed exceptional awareness. As soon as Shadab left his crease, Farooqi halted his bowling action after a hop, skillfully dislodging the stumps and sending Shadab back to the pavilion.

At this juncture, the game appeared nearly concluded, but Shah revived hopes with a daring lofted shot off a slower delivery on the next ball. This shot reduced the equation to requiring seven runs from five balls.

Farooqi regained control by conceding only a single run off the following two deliveries. However, a dramatic misfield on the fourth ball of the over granted Haris Rauf the opportunity to claim three runs, reinstating Shah on strike. Seizing this chance, the 20-year-old Shah unleashed an audacious shot that resulted in a thick outside edge, sending the ball flying to the boundary.

This stroke of luck prompted Naseem to remove his helmet and jubilantly celebrate his achievement. Interestingly, this conclusion bore a striking resemblance to Naseem’s previous heroics against the same bowler during the 2022 Asia Cup, fueling fan excitement and leading them to hail this match as another masterpiece in the escalating cricketing rivalry between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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