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Afghanistan Upset Shakes Pakistan’s World Cup Campaign

  • Afghanistan achieved a historic ODI victory, defeating Pakistan by eight wickets in the Cricket World Cup.
  • Afghanistan’s superb batting and clinical performance overshadowed Pakistan’s competitive total.
  • Pakistan’s World Cup campaign faces uncertainty with three losses in five games, while Afghanistan’s resurgence continues with two wins.

In a shocking turn of events, Afghanistan handed Pakistan a significant defeat in the ongoing Cricket World Cup, marking their first-ever victory over Pakistan in eight One Day International (ODI) matches. The stunning result left Pakistani fans disheartened and their World Cup campaign in disarray.

Chasing a target of 283 runs, Afghanistan’s batsmen displayed remarkable resilience, securing the win with eight wickets in hand. The key contributors to Afghanistan’s historic win were Ibrahim Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77 not out), and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65), as they compiled a total of 286-2 in 49 overs.

Pakistan, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, posted a competitive total of 282-7 in their 50 overs. Captain Babar Azam, a batting sensation, played a crucial role with his well-crafted 74 runs, while opener Abdullah Shafique contributed 58 runs. However, this total proved insufficient as Afghanistan’s batsmen, backed by their superb bowling performance, executed a clinical chase.

Also read: Is Babar Azam Shining Against Weaker Teams or Displaying Genuine Talent?

Afghanistan’s skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi, played a crucial role in the victory, scoring an unbeaten 48 runs off just 45 balls. He struck the winning boundary, sealing their first-ever win against Pakistan in the ODI format.

Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, expressed his disappointment after the match, stating,

“That really hurt us. We got a good total. Our bowling is not up to the mark.”

His statement echoed the sentiments of many Pakistani fans who had hoped for a different outcome.

The defeat leaves Pakistan in a challenging position with three losses in five games and a formidable South Africa awaiting them in the upcoming match. On the other hand, Afghanistan’s campaign has seen a resurgence with two wins in five matches, and they are set to face struggling Sri Lanka as their next opponents.

Afghanistan’s remarkable victory was met with jubilant celebrations in the capital city of Kabul. The win comes at a time of tense political and diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries, adding an extra layer of significance to the result.

Afghanistan’s win was characterized by a superb batting performance, with their openers Zadran and Gurbaz laying a strong foundation by taking their side to 100 runs within the 16th over. The pair went on to build a partnership of 130 runs before a miscued shot from Gurbaz brought Pakistan their first wicket. Gurbaz’s dynamic innings included nine boundaries and a six.

Afghanistan’s batting lineup remained composed, with Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi ensuring that the team did not collapse under pressure. Rahmat’s innings featured five boundaries and two sixes, playing a pivotal role in the chase.

Pakistan, on the other hand, started well with an opening partnership of 56 runs before Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed for 17 by Azmatullah Omarzai. Afghanistan’s 18-year-old left-arm spinner, Noor Ahmad, marked his World Cup debut with an impressive performance, taking a career-best 3-49.

While Pakistan put up a competitive total thanks to Babar Azam’s elegant innings, their bowling performance was lacking, ultimately costing them the match. Afghan spinner Rashid Khan went wicketless but conceded just 41 runs in his 10 overs, while pacer Naveen-ul-Haq claimed two vital wickets.

This defeat has been a bitter pill to swallow. Babar Azam’s disappointment reflects the team’s desire to improve and regain their winning momentum in the upcoming matches. With a formidable South African side looming, the road ahead in the World Cup is undoubtedly a challenging one for Pakistan.

Also read: Top 5 Batsmen: Fastest to 2000 Runs in ODI

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