Published on: Oct 24, 2023
Afghanistan rewrote the record books by registering their maiden ODI win over Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday, October 23. Coming up with a dominant performance, Afghanistan chased down a seemingly challenging target of 283 in 49 overs with eight wickets in hand, registering their second won of the competition.
Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan posted 282/7 on the board. Imam-ul-Haq (17) fell to Azmatullah Omarzai for 17, miscuing a pull. However, opener Abdullah Shafique (58 off 75) and skipper Babar Azam (74 off 92) added 54 runs for the second wicket to take Pakistan past the 100-run mark
The stand was broken when Shafique was trapped lbw by Noor Ahmad (3/49) as he missed his sweep. Babar also fell well short of three figures. He cut a short ball from Noor straight into the hands of extra cover. While the Pakistan captain played a good knock, he scored at a strike rate of 80, hitting only four fours and a six.
Mohammad Rizwan (8) perished to a pre-meditated sweep. Saud Shakeel (25) and Shadab Khan (40) chipped in, but it was brutal cameo of 40 in 27 balls that lifted Pakistan past 280. The aggressive batter struck two fours and four sixes to give Pakistan momentum at the death.
Chasing 283, Afghanistan were in cruise control right through their innings. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65 off 53) and Ibrahim Zadran (87 off 113) added 130 runs for the first wicket. Gurbaz struck nine fours and a six before falling to Shaheen Afridi. Zadran hit 10 fours in his defining knock before being caught behind of Hasan Ali.
The experienced Rahmat Shah (77 not out off 84) and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (48 not out off 45) added an unbroken 96 for the second wicket to ensure smooth sailing for Afghanistan. The duo took their team home in commanding fashion.
Speaking after the historic win, skipper Shahidi, “This win tastes nice. The way we chased was very professional. Looking forward for the other games. The way we chased today, we’ll do it again. The quality cricket that we have been playing from the last couple of years, the belief was there when we were playing the Asia Cup also. At the start of the tournament, I said that we want to make this tournament historic for our country people.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent