On Monday night, the record-breaking AFG VS PAK Series finally concluded at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Pakistan defeated their Asian rivals comprehensively by 66 runs in the 3rd T20I. But Rashid Khan’s men took home the series 2-1 after playing some outstanding cricket in the first two games. This was Shadab Khan’s second T20I series defeat as the captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team.
It was indeed a historic series with several records being broken by both sides. Let’s review some of the records that were set up in this exciting AFG VS PAK series.
First Bilateral AFG vs PAK Series
This AFG VS PAK series was the first of its kind to be played between the two sides. Before this, the Asian rivals had gone head-to-head against each other in various ICC and ACC competitions. But they had never faced off in a bilateral series.
First Defeat for Pakistan
During this series, Afghanistan claimed its first victory over Pakistan in any format of the game. They were completely outclassed by Afghanistan in the 1st T20I. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Shadab’s men could only muster 92 runs on a spinning Sharjah pitch. In reply, Afghanistan batters managed to fight off resistance from opposition bowlers and won the match with 6 wickets to spare.
Before this game, Afghanistan had gone very close to defeating Pakistan on a couple of occasions, but Pakistan somehow managed to cross the finish line on all those occasions. But this time the experience of Afghani bowlers and batters proved to be too much for the young Pakistan squad.
Rashid Khan’s determined side went on to create further history by inflicting another defeat upon Pakistan, in the 2nd T20I, and by doing so they won a bilateral series against Pakistan for the first time. Pakistan bowlers were unable to defend a target of 130 runs, as the experienced Afghan duo of Najibullah Zadran and Muhammad Nabi guided their side to victory.
The Youngest Pakistan T20I Starting Eleven
In the 1st T20I Pakistan fielded its youngest-ever T20I playing eleven. The average age of Pakistan’s playing eleven was 24.60. 20-year-old Ihsanullah was the youngest whereas 34-year-old Imad Wasim was the oldest member of the match day squad.
Before this, the record for the youngest playing eleven that Pakistan had fielded was 25.21. It was achieved against West Indies in 2018.
Ihsanullah makes History on Debut
Ihsanullah became only the 2nd Pakistani bowler to pick up a wicket off his first ball in T20 internationals. The 20-year-old dismissed Ibrahim Zadran, in the 1st T20I, by bowling a fierce bouncer. The ball looped into the air after striking the edge of Zadran’s bat, and it was eventually grabbed by Azam Khan behind the stumps. 2 balls later he gave Pakistan another breakthrough by picking up the wicket of Gulbadin Naib in a similar fashion.
Before him, Aamer Yamin was the only Pakistan bowler to pick up a wicket off his first ball in T20 internationals. Aamer achieved that feat against England in the 3rd T20I between Pakistan and England at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 2015. He dismissed Jason Roy for a golden duck that day.
Unique Record for Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim carried his fine form with the bat from this year’s PSL into this series. His innings of 64 runs off 57 balls was vital to help Pakistan set a defendable target for Afghanistan in the 2nd T20I. His gritty innings on a tough Sharjah pitch resulted in setting up a unique record for himself. He became only the 2nd Pakistani ever to score a 50+ score against Afghanistan in T20Is.
Before Imad, Babar Azam was the only Pakistani who had scored a half-century against Afghanistan in T20Is. He scored 51 runs during their encounter in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium.
See Also: PSL 2023 Review: 7 talking points from the 8th edition of HBL PSL
Zaman Khan equals Shahid Afridi’s Record
Zaman Khan achieved a rare feat during the AFG VS PAK series. The 21-year-old became only the 2nd Pakistan player to open his account in international cricket with a six. He joined Shahid Afridi on that illustrious list. Zaman Khan achieved that feat by smashing Muhammad Nabi over straight long-off in the 1st T20I of the series.
A Record to Forget for Abdullah Shafique
After going through a stellar PSL 2023 campaign, a lot was expected from Abdullah Shafique in this AFG VS PAK series. But unfortunately, things did not go according to plan for the 23-year-old. The elegant batter was dismissed for a duck in the first two games of the series.
By doing so, he achieved an unwanted record of being the only batter in the history of T20 internationals to be dismissed for a duck in four consecutive games. Before this series, he had been dismissed for zero in the opening two games of Pakistan’s T20I series against New Zealand in 2020.
A Century of Wickets for Shadab
Pakistan’s captain for this AFG VS PAK series claimed his 100th scalp in T20Is during the 3rd T20I between the two sides. He dismissed Afghanistan’s Usman Ghani, for 15 runs, to reach the 100-wicket milestone. He was caught at long off, by Abdullah Shafique, as he tried to hit Shadab for a maximum.
He finished the game on 101 wickets as Mujeeb ur Rahman was given LBW off Shadab’s bowling, in the same over. Shadab became only the 2nd Pakistani, behind Nida Dar, and 7th bowler overall to take 100 wickets in T20 internationals.
This historic series, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be remembered for many years to come, given the number of records that were set over the three matches. Rashid Khan’s men will be proud of their performances over the course of the series. Whereas for Pakistan it will be a series to forget, but they will certainly go home with some positives as well, given the performance of Ihsanullah, Zaman Khan, and Saim Ayub throughout the 3-match series.