SRINAGAR — Pakistan beat Afghanistan in a nail-biter match at Headingley on Saturday to stay alive in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (CWC19).
Having restricted Afghanistan for 227/9 in 50 overs, Pakistan had a bad start, losing their opener Fakhar Zaman on the second ball of the innings.
Imam ul Haq and Babar Azam built their run-chase campaign with their 72-run partnership but Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi brought Afghans back into the game with his two quick wickets of Imam and Babar.
Pakistan were 174/6 in 43 overs and needed 54 off 42 balls. Haris Sohail and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s wickets had left them in deep trouble. But Imad Wasim’s unbeaten 49 and Wahab Riaz’s 15 off just 9 balls took Pakistan to a nail-biting finish.
Imad Wasim was declared Man of the Match for scoring 49 runs (not out) and taking two wickets for 48 runs in the ten overs that he bowled.
Earlier, Shaheen Afridi became the first teenage bowler to take four wickets in a World Cup game as Afghanistan finished on 227-9 after choosing to bat first.
Asghar Afghan hit a brisk 42 from 35 balls, including three fours and two sixes, before being bowled by Shadab Khan. Najibullah Zadran hit six fours in a slightly slower 42, from 54 deliveries, and was also bowled, this time by Shaheen.
The 19-year-old Shaheen completed his four-wicket haul when he dismissed Rashid Khan, finishing with figures of 4-47 from 10 overs.
After the victory against Afghanistan, Pakistan have jumped to fourth place in the points table with nine points from eight games. They will look to beat Bangladesh by a big margin in order to better their net run rate which will come in handy to qualify for the semi-final spot.
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