In an exhilarating clash during the ongoing ODI series between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the second match took center stage with Pakistan emerging victorious in a nail-biting encounter. Naseem Shah’s remarkable performance played a pivotal role in securing Pakistan’s thrilling win by just one wicket, leaving fans on the edge of their seats.
The showdown, which unfolded in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, witnessed Pakistan chasing down a formidable target of 301 runs with only a solitary wicket and one ball remaining. Naseem Shah’s nerve-wracking innings in the final moments led Pakistan to a triumphant finish, underscoring his exceptional skills and match-winning prowess.
Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first, setting the stage for an intense contest. Their batsmen exhibited commendable form, amassing a total of 300 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. The opening partnership between Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran laid a strong foundation, contributing 227 runs to Afghanistan’s total. Gurbaz’s outstanding knock of 151 runs, peppered with 3 sixes and 14 fours, set the tone for Afghanistan’s innings.
Pakistan’s bowlers faced a tough challenge, with Naseem Shah leading the attack by securing one wicket for 45 runs in his 9 overs. Osama Mir and Haris Rauf also made notable contributions, claiming a wicket each while conceding 61 and 48 runs respectively. Shadab Khan’s 10-over spell yielded 53 runs.
In response, Pakistan’s openers set out cautiously, adding 52 runs to the scoreboard before Fakhar Zaman was dismissed after scoring 30 runs. Captain Babar Azam stepped up, forming a partnership with Imam-ul-Haq that propelled the team’s score to 170 runs. Babar’s half-century came to an end at 53 runs, courtesy of Fazal Haq Farooqui’s delivery.
The match’s momentum fluctuated as Afghanistan’s bowlers struck at crucial intervals, causing Pakistan to lose wickets. Agha Salman, Mohammad Rizwan, and Imam-ul-Haq contributed 14, 2, and 91 runs respectively before departing. Shadab Khan’s dynamic performance injected excitement into the contest, as his aggressive approach yielded 48 runs off just 35 balls. However, he was dismissed on the first ball of the last over, intensifying the tension.
Once again, it was Naseem Shah who held the key to Pakistan’s victory. His composed and crucial 10-run innings in the final moments ensured Pakistan’s successful chase, securing a thrilling win against Afghanistan.
On the bowling front, Fazal Haq Farooqui stood out for Afghanistan with 3 wickets, while Mohammad Nabi secured 2 dismissals. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Abdul Rehman contributed with a wicket each.
Shadab Khan’s exceptional all-round performance earned him the well-deserved player of the match award.
This victory allowed Pakistan to establish a commanding 2-0 lead in the ODI series, building on their previous triumph where they outperformed Afghanistan and won by a substantial 142-run margin. As the series continues, cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate more exhilarating clashes between these two competitive teams.