Afghanistan Cricket Team
Afghanistan created another big upset at the Cricket World Cup as it thumped struggling Pakistan by eight wickets on Monday to win two games at the same edition of the tournament for the first time.
After stunning England eight days ago, the ninth-ranked Afghans celebrated only their third ever win at the World Cup, the other coming against Scotland in 2015 in their first appearance.
An aggressive 130-run opening stand between Ibrahim Zadran (87) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) orchestrated Afghanistan’s 286-2 in 49 overs against out-of-sort Pakistan's pace and spin bowling.
Rahmat Shah and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi built on the solid first-wicket stand by sharing an unbeaten 96-run third-wicket stand. Shah remained unbeaten on 77 while Shahidi scored 48 not out as he raised the victory with a boundary against Shaheen Afridi at square leg.
Pakistan, which won the toss and elected to bat, made 282-7 against a spin-heavy quartet with captain Babar Azam (74) and Abdullah Shafique (58) scoring half centuries.
It was Pakistan’s first loss in an ODI against Afghanistan, which bettered its previous highest successful ODI chase of 274 made against United Arab Emirates nine years ago.
A third successive pushed Pakistan into a must-win situation for a place in the semifinals with only four points from five matches. Afghanistan also kept its slim hopes alive with four points in as many games as moved into the No. 6 spot, behind Pakistan on net run-rate, leaving England at the bottom of the table.