ISLAMABAD - Najibullah Zadran's blistering half-century helped Afghanistan A crush a star-studded Pakistan A by 54 runs in a Twenty20 match in Islamabad. In a game shortened to 15 overs a side, Najibullah's 32-ball 67, that included four fours and the same number of sixes, propelled Afghanistan to a strong 154 for 4 before their bowlers stifled Pakistan's chase and restricted them to 100 for 9.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan started with a flurry of boundaries against Umar Gul and Mohammad Irfan but lost three wickets in three overs to be reduced to 48 for 3 after six. Najibullah was aggressive from the outset, his second scoring shot a six off Raza Hasan, and did not let the scoring rate drop. Afghanistan were 92 for 4 after 10 overs and raised the tempo further in the last five.

Sixty-two runs came in those overs, with Bilawal Bhatti leaking 21 in the 13th. Najibullah started that over with a brace of boundaries, which brought up his fifty off 26 balls, before Samiullah Shenwari smashed consecutive sixes off the last two balls. Then Shenwari ensured a solid finish with 13 runs from the last over bowler by Anwar Ali and was unbeaten on 27 off 14 balls.

M Nabi then struck with the first ball of Pakistan's innings, catching Nasir Jamshed off his own bowling. Sohaib Maqsood was dismissed in the next over but the innings suffered the momentum-robbing blows between the ninth and the 11th overs as Pakistan lost four wickets for four runs to be reduced to 71 for 7. They could only add a further 29.

Scoreboard

AFGHANISTAN A:

M Shahzad c Saad b Raza    17

Najeeb Tarakai c Awais b Irfan    18

Hashmatullah Shaidi run out    11

M Nabi c Jamshed b Anwar    15

Najibullah Zadran not ou     60

Samiullah Shenwari not out    27

EXTRAS: (lb2, w3, nb1)    6

TOTAL: (4 wkts; 15 overs)    154

FOW: 1-36, 2-36, 3-48, 4-87

BOWLING: Umar Gul 3-0-30-0, M Irfan 3-0-23-1, Raza Hasan 2-0-11-1, Bilawal Bhatti 3-0-43-0, Saad Nasim 1-0-14-0, Anwar Ali 3-0-31-1

PAKISTAN A:

Nasir Jamshed c & b Nabi    0

Awais Zia st Shahzad b Nasim    12

Sohaib Maqsood c Nabi b Fareed    7

Babar Azam c Najeeb b Gulbadin    30

M Rizwan b Aftab    18

Saad Nasim lbw b Aftab    1

Anwar Ali not out    17

Bilawal Bhatti c Shahzad b Gulbadin    0

Umar Gul c Aftab b Nabi    9

Raza Hasan run out    3

M Irfan not out    1

EXTRAS: (w2)    2

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 15 overs)    100

FOW: 1-0, 2-7, 3-36, 4-67, 5-69, 6-70, 7-71, 8-94, 9-97  

BOWLING: M Nabi 3-0-18-2, Fareed Ahmad 3-0-14-1, Aftab Alam-3-0-21-2, M Nasim Baras 2-0-15-1, Gulbadin Naib 4-0-32-2

TOSS: Afghanistan A

MAN OF MATCH: Najibullah Zadran

UMPIRES: Ahmed Shahab, Ahsan Raza

TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz

MATCH REFEREE: Zaigham Burki