'Remember the name': Netizens gush over Asif Ali as Green Shirts beat Afghanistan in thrilling T20 World Cup fixture

Never have I seen a cricketing nation rise as rapidly as Afghanistan in international cricket and become so competitive: PM Imran.
Published October 29, 2021

Netizens were all praise for Asif Ali and the rest of the Green Shirts after Pakistan beat Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Asif smashed four sixes in the penultimate over to help Pakistan achieve a hard-fought five-wicket win over Afghanistan.

With Pakistan needing 24 runs off the final two overs, Asif lifted paceman Karim Janat's first, third, fifth and sixth deliveries over the boundary to help Pakistan overhaul a tricky 148-run target.

Asif finished with 25 off just seven balls with four sixes and a single, leaving Janat and all the other Afghan players frustrated.

The victory was Pakistan's third in as many games in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage, all but ensuring them a spot in the semi-finals.

Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated the Green Shirts on their win, while also lauding the Afghan side for their "impressive cricket".

"Never have I seen a cricketing nation rise as rapidly as Afghanistan in international cricket and become so competitive. With this competitive spirit and talent the future of cricket is bright in Afghanistan," he said.

Calling Asif "a beauty", Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja praised Pakistan's performance as "sensational".

"Congrats boys, keep up the good work," he said.

Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari called it "another great win by Team Pakistan".

"Congratulations! what a finish Asif Ali — and well played Team Afghanistan. Kept us on tenterhooks till the very end!"

Left-arm fast-bowler Wahab Riaz praised Asif performance, saying "what a knock!"

"Proud of this team and the way they have been performing in this mega event! Congrats everyone on the third consecutive win," he said.

Pakistani batsmen Ahmed Shahzad also praised Asif, saying that his feat of hitting four sixes in a single over was "brilliant".

"Our boys dominating once again. The energy is unreal. Everyone is giving their best. Congratulations and well-done team," he said.

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar simply said: "Asif Ali you beauty!!!"

Foreign players were also not behind in recognising Asif's skill with England all-rounder Ben Stokes tweeting: "Remember the name Asif Ali."

"Remember the name" was the famous line uttered on-air by commentator Ian Bishop for Carlos Brathwaite after he hit Stokes for four straight sixes in the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup played between the West Indies and England.

PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari commended yet another "positive and clinal performance" by Pakistan.

"They are looking like a really solid outfit. Afghanistan too is proving to be a very dangerous team in #T20WorldCup," he said.

Cricketer Fawad Alam congratulated the team and the nation on another victory.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi congratulated the team on the win and Afghanistan for a "great game".

"Above all, both teams continue to show the beauty and spirit of sportsmanship and fraternity," he said.

Cricketer Sohail Tanveer said that Asif had proven everyone wrong yet again. "What a way to end this game Asif Ali," he said, congratulating the player.

Former Pakistan women's captain Sana Mir also praised the player while pointing out that Pakistan was the first team to come closest to qualifying for the semi-final.

Praise for Asif also came from India with the managing editor of Aaj Tak Sports, Vikrant Gupta, terming the player a "bigger match-winner" than most in the team.

"This Asif Ali has got some hitting ability. Well tried Afghanistan team," tweeted former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan.

Meanwhile, former cricketer Bazid Khan cheekily asked: "Who said Pakistan have a power hitting problem?"

Header image: Shadab Khan (L) and Asif Ali celebrate their win in the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 29. — AFP