Afghanistan came into the 2019 World Cup with a lot of expectations and many expected that they will do one or two upsets, but they have failed to do so thus far. Afghanistan continued their poor show with the bat in the first innings of their eighth match of the tournament against Pakistan at the Headingley in Leeds. The Pakistani bowlers displayed sensational clinical efforts to rattle the inexperienced Afghanistan batting line-up. Many of the Afghanistan batters got some valuable starts, but they failed to convert them into bigger scores.
Shaheen Afridi picks up two-in-two
Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib won the toss and opted to bat first because he reckoned that the wicket looks really good and weather is also nice. The two Afghanistan openers, Rahmat Shah and Gulbadin Naib came out with a pretty aggressive intent taking apart the Pakistan bowlers from the word go. But then the Pakistan new ball bowler Shaheen Afridi brought his team back in the game by picking back-to-back wickets. He dismissed both Gulbadin and Hashmatullah Shahidi in his very first over of the day before conceding 10 runs off his first three balls.
Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim then removed Rahmat as well to leave the Afghans reeling at 57 for 3. The duo comprising of Asghar Afghan and Ikram Ali Khil joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The pair batted very well for a short span of time, stitching a fine stand of 64 runs. Things looked to settle down for the Afghan side, but then the Pakistan spin duo of Imad and Shadab Khan once again halted their progress, removing both the set batters off successive overs.
The pair of Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi then tried to lead Afghanistan to some sort of respite with a brief partnership of 42 runs. Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz then got the better of Nabi to pick up Afghanistan’s sixth wicket with 167 runs on the board. After his dismissal, the pair of Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari then once again started the rebuilding work.
Najibullah got out in the 45th over after scoring a 54-ball 42 and the new batsman Rashid Khan was also sent back to the pavilion pretty soon. Afghanistan managed to score 227 for 9 in their quota of 50 overs. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi bowled amazingly well to pick up four crucial wickets, while Imad and Wahab finished with two wickets each.
Afghanistan 227/9 in 50 overs (Asghar Afghan-42, Najibullah-42; Shaheen Afridi 4/47, Wahab Riaz 2/29, Imad Wasim 2/48) vs Pakistan.