World Cup 2023: Afghanistan Triumphs Over Pakistan with 8-wicket Victory

INDIA: Afghanistan stunned Pakistan by eight wickets on Monday, pulling off their second massive victory of the 50-over World Cup. Afghanistan successfully pursued a 283-run target, which they achieved with one over remaining. Their top three batters smashed fifties, while captain Hashmatullah Shahidi hit an undefeated 48 at number four.

Afghanistan defeated Pakistan in its first ODI match in eight tries, and as a result, the reigning champions, England, are now at the bottom of the standings.

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After Pakistan scored 282-7 thanks to half-centuries from captain Babar Azam and opener Abdullah Shafique, Shahidi’s team—who had earlier in the tournament shocked England—ran a clinical chase.

After winning the toss, Babar chose to bat against an Afghan assault that relied heavily on spin, which kept things close for the opening ten powerplay overs.

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Afghanistan had four spinners in their playing eleven, but Azmatullah Omarzai, a pacer, took the opening wicket when he dismissed Imam-ul-Haq for 17. In his historic World Cup debut, teenage spinner Noor Ahmad (3-49) removed Mohammad Rizwan (8) and Abdullah Shafique (58) in his next overs.

In an attempt to quicken the score, Babar (74) was also dismissed by Noor, enabling Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan to add the final flourish. Iftikhar and Shadab scored runs in an aggressive manner. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran combined for a 130-run opening stand.

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Afghanistan sprinted to the 100 mark in the 16th over, giving Pakistan’s bowling an ordinary appearance. Shaheen Afridi dismissed Gurbaz, but Rahmat Shah and Zadran continued to perform well. Babar’s men’s careless fielding did little to further their cause.

Zadran’s valiant effort was stopped by Hasan Ali, but Shah and Shahidi exploited the Pakistani attack to secure a memorable win over their neighbours.

Pakistan’s prospects of making it to the semi-finals are in jeopardy after their third loss in five games. Despite poor bowling, they managed a respectable total and have not fired the three departments required for the World Cup.

Also Read: World Cup 2023: Australia Registers Second Consecutive Win, Defeats Pakistan by 62 Runs