Afghanistan secured a stunning victory over Pakistan in the first warm-up game ahead of the World Cup 2019 on Friday. Afghanistan’s middle-order batsman Hashmatullah Sahidi played a match-winning inning of 74 runs which helped his team to chase down a below-par target of 263 set by Pakistan. Pakistan faced a shocking 3 wicket loss against Afghanistan.
This is eleven straight ODI defeat of Pakistan. Sarfraz Ahmed’s side will be hoping that their pace spearhead 27 years old left-arm Mohammed Amir and 33-year-old all-rounder Wahab Riaz would come into their rhythm and show a better performance before entering their foot into cricket’s flagship tournament.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Pakistan was given a good start by their openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq. Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi removed Fakhar Zaman for 19 but Imam-ul-Haq scored a well-paced hundred(112 for 108 balls). Shoaib Malik(44 off 59 balls) stitched a 103 run 5th wicket partnership with Babar Azam.
Despite the solid middle-order partnership Pakistan failed to put an impressive score on the board as their lower middle-order collapsed, Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (13 from 10) and Imad Wasim (18 off 23) failed to provide the much-needed momentum at the end of the innings.
On the other hand, Afghanistan who won the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year showed organised and disciplined cricket from the start of the match. After experienced Mohammad Nabi picked 3 important Pakistani wickets and their star leg-spinner Rashid Khan removed Pakistan Skipper Sarfraz and Hafeez with impressive bowling figures of 2 for 27 in 9 overs.
In reply, Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai gave a quick start to Afghanistan, Hasmatullah Shahidi paced the innings and scored an unbeaten 74 off 102 balls.
Afghanistan next face hosts England in London in their 2nd warm-up match on May 27 before their World Cup opener vs Australia on June 1.