Afghanistan Upsets Pakistan in World Cup
Afghanistan's Giant-Killing Streak Continues with Victory Over Pakistan, Leaving England at the Bottom of the Points Table
- Afghanistan's impressive eight-wicket win over 1992 champion Pakistan.
- England's struggling performance puts them at the bottom of the table.
- Hashmatullah Shahidi's leadership guides Afghanistan to another shocking upset.
- Pakistan's bowling woes impact their World Cup semifinal prospects.
Afghanistan has continued its streak of stunning upsets at the 2023 World Cup, this time defeating 1992 champion Pakistan with a remarkable eight-wicket victory. The win leaves England at the bottom of the points table.
Afghanistan has caused another major upset at the 2023 World Cup, defeating 1992 champion Pakistan with an impressive eight-wicket victory. Afghanistan's top three batters all scored fifties, and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi contributed an unbeaten 48 as they successfully chased down 283 with an over to spare. This win marked Afghanistan's first-ever ODI victory against Pakistan in eight attempts. It has also left defending champions England at the bottom of the points table. Afghanistan's clinical performance in the chase showcased their potential, as they had previously stunned England in the tournament.
Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi's men displayed a professional approach to the chase. This victory comes as their second triumph in five matches at the tournament. The win tasted sweet for Afghanistan, marking a significant achievement in their cricketing journey.
Pakistan, led by Babar Azam, won the toss and chose to bat against Afghanistan's spin-heavy attack. However, Afghanistan's spinners, supported by pacer Azmatullah Omarzai, kept things tight during the first 10 powerplay overs. Omarzai claimed the early wicket of Imam-ul-Haq, dismissing him for 17.
Teenage spinner Noor Ahmad was the star for Afghanistan, securing a memorable World Cup debut by taking three crucial wickets for 49 runs. His victims included Abdullah Shafique (58) and Mohammad Rizwan (eight). Babar Azam, Pakistan's captain, also fell to Noor as he tried to accelerate the scoring. Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan provided some late flourish to Pakistan's innings. Iftikhar hammered four sixes on his way to a belligerent 40, while Shadab added as many runs before falling to the last ball of the innings.
In response, Afghanistan quickly reached the 100-run mark in the 16th over, with openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) and the player-of-the-match Ibrahim Zadran (87) combining for a blistering opening partnership of 130. They made Pakistan's bowling attack look ineffective, and Pakistan's fielding errors added to their woes.
Shaheen Afridi finally broke the partnership by dismissing Gurbaz, but Zadran and Rahmat Shah (77 not out) continued the good work. Hasan Ali ended Zadran's gallant knock, but Shah and Shahidi managed the Pakistan attack with ease during their unbroken 96-run stand, securing a memorable victory over their neighbors.
Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, expressed his disappointment after their third defeat in five matches, which has put their semi-final hopes in jeopardy. He noted that while Pakistan had posted a good total, their bowling performance had not been up to the mark. In the World Cup, success requires all three departments to perform well, and Pakistan has not achieved that consistently. Afghanistan's victory further exemplifies the unpredictable nature of cricket and the potential for underdog teams to make a significant impact on the global stage.
In a memorable match, Afghanistan's top batters, led by skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi, successfully chased down Pakistan's target of 283. This victory marks Afghanistan's first-ever ODI win against Pakistan and adds to their growing reputation as giant killers in the tournament. Despite Pakistan's strong batting performance, their bowling couldn't match up, leaving their semi-final hopes uncertain. Afghanistan's clinical chase has showcased their potential and unpredictability on the cricketing stage.