ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 - Afghanistan warm-up at the expense of Pakistan
Afghanistan, the underdogs, will take lot of confidence into the World Cup, from its narrow, scrappy but well-earned 3-wicket win against Pakistan at Bristol.
Afghanistan 263 - 7
Result - Afghanistan won by 3 wickets
The left-handed, Hashmatullah Shahidi, played an anchor role with an unbeaten 74 off 102 balls, to the delight of small ecstatic Afghan nationals, whilst scoring a winning run with just two balls remaining. At the top of the order Hazratullah Zazai, had earlier given his side a positive start to their run chase by smashing 49 off just 28 balls, including 5 fours off Shaheen Afridi’s over.
Batting first Pakistan with its star batsman Babar Azam, stroking an effortless 112, ought to have scored far more than their eventual total of 262 all out. The lower order just collapsed within no time and Imad Wasim’s run out, denied Pakistan to add more to its total as there were still 13 balls still to be bowled.
It is debatable if warm-up matches between international sides, just prior to the World Cup event, are little more than a glorified net practice. With all 15-man squad on show both from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the fixture at Bristol, is set to go in the records as a ‘nothing’ match. Standard 11-a-side game against a full-strength county side, might have served a better purpose.
Nevertheless the match proved a good workout for players in the middle, especially Afghanistan, who even before today’s victory, have proved their potential to upset few odds by beating one or two established cricketing nations in the World Cup. The word nomadic comes to mind for all of Afghanistan’s international commitments are away from home as they recorded a morale-boosting win at Bristol.
The defeat is set to hurt Pakistan camp, who only have themselves to blame for a sloppy performance.
Pakistan - Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.
Afghanistan - Gulbadin Naib (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
©Cricket World 2019