UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
In the third shock of the 2023 World Cup, Afghanistan sent Pakistan packing to seal off their second win of the tournament.
Having earlier shocked England, Afghanistan’s top three batters were involved in a clinical chase against a clueless-looking Pakistan bowling attack.
Chasing 283 for just their third win in all World Cup cricket, Afghanistan got to the target for the loss of just two wickets and with an over to spare.
In fact, at no stage did Afghanistan look like they were under any kind of pressure, showing the kind of precision that more experienced teams do in chases.
Half-centuries from Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah and an unbeaten 48 off the bat of Hasmatullah Shahidi ensured there were no hiccups even while chasing a tricky 282.
Gurbaz and Zadran added 130 for the first wicket in 21 overs but if Pakistan thought they had an opening after getting rid of of Gurbaz, they were mistaken.
In came Rahmat and steadied the ship, adding 60 for the second wicket. Hasan Ali dismissed Zadran for 87 as the ball began to reverse a little but in a surprise twist, Pakistan captain Babar Azam failed to put on more pressure on the opposition by bringing in his seamers from the other end too.
Captain Shahidi took the opportunity with both hands to get settled and then in partnership with Rahmat added the 96 runs they needed for a win.
What was so special to watch was here was a team which had lost seven times out of seven to Pakistan in ODI cricket but chased this score down without any problems.
Wow, Afghanistan. I thought the win over England was their biggest day on a cricket ground. But this run-chase might even top that. Take them seriously because the maturity they showed today was so admirable. I am voting for this over the England game.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 23, 2023
Earlier, Pakistan looked to have batted within themselves in the second Powerplay after having made a solid start to their innings.
Having gotten to 56 without loss after 10 overs, Pakistan scored just 44 in the next 10, 39 in the period between the 21st and 30th and 52 off the next 10-over phase.
This left them with a lot to do in the death overs while they would have been pleased with the 91 runs they scored, they had failed to kill off the contest.
And with the Pakistani bowling showing lack of rhythm and fielding falling way short of international standards, it ensured they had lost their third match in a row.
Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!