The left-arm seamer broke the backbone of Shakib Al Hasan and Co. as he finished with figures of 4/22. His splendid bowling effort helped Pakistan restrict Bangladesh to 127/8 in 20 overs.
Najmul Hossain Shanto was the top-scorer for Bangladesh with 54 off 48 balls as other batters failed to put on a show. Shadab Khan once again did well with a couple of crucial dismissals, while Haris Rauf and Iftikhar Ahmed picked up a wicket each.
Babar Azam and Co. need 128 runs against Bangladesh to win the match and qualify for the semifinals.
Fans on Twitter were excited to witness one of the most amazing spells and lavished praise on Shaheen Afridi for delivering in a crunch game for Pakistan. Here are some of the reactions:
“Bowlers have done their job” – Shadab Khan after excellent bowling performance against Bangladesh in T20 World Cup 2022
Vice-captain Shadab Khan lavished praise on Pakistan’s bowling department for restricting Bangladesh to a below-par score.
Speaking to Star Sports mid-innings, he said:
“So far, so good. Bowlers have done their job. We assessed the conditions well. Hopefully, batters do the same. Slower ones (are effective) for fast bowlers, and if you bowl slow as a spinner, you will also get help. Umpires gave it out, so it’s out (Shakib decision).”
He also backed Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to finally come good and take Pakistan into the T20 World Cup semifinals.
“We have world-class openers. Babar hasn’t performed well, but he’s a big match player.”
While South Africa have five points in as many games, Pakistan and Bangladesh are equal on four points in as many matches. The team securing a victory in this crucial game will seal their place in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, India have already qualified with six points in four matches. Rohit Sharma and Co. will play against Zimbabwe in their last group-stage match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
New Zealand and England, on the other hand, have already qualified for the knockout matches from Group 1. The table-toppers will play the second-placed team from Group 2 and vice-versa. The T20 World Cup semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday (November 9 and 10).