(CTN News) – Pakistan secured a thrilling victory by one wicket against Afghanistan in a gripping match.
Chasing a target of 301, Pakistan managed to reach 302 for 9 in their innings. Imam-ul-Haq led the charge with a confident 91, closely supported by Babar Azam’s half-century at 53 and Shadab Khan contributing a valuable 48 runs.
Afghanistan’s bowling efforts were led by Farooqi, who claimed 3 wickets for 69 runs.
Afghanistan Sets Formidable 300/5 Total with Gurbaz’s Heroics, While Shaheen Impresses for Pakistan
Earlier, Afghanistan had set a competitive total of 300 for 5 in their innings. Gurbaz was the standout performer for Afghanistan, smashing an impressive 151 runs, while Zadran contributed a solid 80. Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi took 2 wickets for 58 runs.
Ultimately, Pakistan’s determined batting performance led them to a narrow yet thrilling victory over Afghanistan.
Naseem Shah, who previously steered Pakistan to a victory against the same opposition during the Asia Cup 2022, once again showcased his leadership as he guided the Green Shirts to an exhilarating win in the final over, with 11 runs needed off 6 balls.
In pursuit of the 301-run target, Pakistan encountered an early setback as Fakhar Zaman departed after scoring 52 runs. However, Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam took charge, constructing a commanding 118-run partnership that placed their team in a strong position.
Following his fifty, Babar was dismissed by Fazalhaq Farooq, triggering a series of wickets for the winning side.
At a juncture where victory seemed distant for the Green Shirts, Shadab Khan played a pivotal role by contributing 48 runs off 35 balls, reigniting their chances.
Thrilling Final Over Sees Naseem Shah Lead Pakistan to Triumphant Finish
The final over was a spectacle of suspense. As Fazalhaq prepared to deliver the crucial ball, he managed to dismiss Shadab, who stood at the non-striker’s end. However, in an unexpected turn, Naseem assumed control of Pakistan’s batting and guided them to a triumphant finish.
In the earlier innings, Afghanistan’s opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz displayed an exceptional performance, amassing 151 runs that propelled Afghanistan to a total of 300-5 in 50 overs.
Opting to bat first, Afghanistan’s opening duo, Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, crafted an impressive partnership of 227 runs, marking Afghanistan’s second-highest ODI partnership.
Zadran’s innings of 80 concluded as he missed his fifth ODI century and was dismissed by Usama Mir. However, Gurbaz continued his onslaught, reaching his 150 runs at a run-a-ball pace.
His innings ended in the 45th over, caught by Shaheen Shah Afridi, but not before he had already inflicted substantial damage on Pakistan. Gurbaz’s remarkable innings featured 14 boundaries and three maximums.
Shaheen Shah Afridi secured two wickets, while Naseem Shah and Usama Mir each claimed one wicket.
Afghanistan made two changes, with Riaz Hassan and Shahid Kamal replacing Rahmat Shah and Azmatullah Omarzai, who retired hurt in the first ODI. Pakistan, on the other hand, fielded an unchanged lineup for the contest.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Abdul Rahman, Shahid Kamal, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf