Watch: Naseem Shah repeats history to give Pakistan another end-overs heist
Naseem Shah executed another perfect jail-breaker act for Pakistan, giving them an unlikely victory under extreme pressure against Afghanistan in the penultimate game of the three-match ODI series in Hambantota on Thursday (August 24).
With 11 runs required off the last over in a high-scoring thriller and only No.11 Haris Rauf for company, Naseem smashed a couple of key boundaries, including one off the fifth ball of the over when Pakistan required three runs off the last two deliveries.
At the receiving end was again left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi, who came in from wide of the crease to try and cramp the right-hander. But Naseem found luck as his attempted uppish drive picked up a thick outside edge and raced through the vacant deep-third region for a boundary.
Naseem stood absolutely delighted to have helped Pakistan cross the finish line with his secondary skill, providing the fans a cause to celebrate and be relieved as the 'Men in Green' continued their winning streak over the Afghans.
Naseem Shah with a batting heist again!!
It was a deja vu moment for those who would vividly remember the Super 4s encounter of the men's Asia Cup T20I played last year between the two subcontinental rivals in Sharjah.
On a dry surface, with 11 required off the last six, Naseem Shah belted Farooqi twice for a six down the ground to seal the deal for his team.
As Farooqi missed his mark horribly with the yorker, when he should've persisted bowling into the surface and fetched uneven bounce for his back-of-the-hand slower ones, Naseem stood tall on the full-pitchers and hammered them for consecutive maximums at the start of the over and rained on the Afghan dream.
The ambitious young cricketer did the trick again for his team on a stale Thursday evening in Sri Lanka, denying Afghanistan what would've been a series-levelling victory and a triumph for them to savour for some time to come.
The victory also now gives Pakistan the chance to test the depth of their squad by resting few key players for the third One-Dayer ahead of the looming 50-overs Asia Cup on Lankan shores. They wouldn't have had that opportunity if not for Naseem.