Pakistan lost their first wicket for 56 runs after winning the toss against Afghanistan in their fifth match in the current World Cup.
Abdullah Shafiq and Imam-ul-Haq, the two openers who started the opening for Pakistan today, played carefully from the beginning. They were not giving any chance to the Afghan bowlers. Pakistan scored 56 runs without losing any wicket in the first power play based on this pair.
But then there is a fall in rhythm. Imam-ul-Haq of Oppna returned to Sajghar with a team score of 56 runs. Imam Azmatullah Omarzai, who scored 17 runs off 22 balls, was caught by Naveen-ul-Haq and returned to the pavilion. On his departure, Pakistan’s opening pair broke for 56 runs.
In this World Cup, Pakistan started to fly by winning two matches in a row. But then there is a fall in rhythm. Babar Azam had to see both sides of the coin after winning two consecutive matches and losing two matches. Pakistan is 5th in the table with four points from two wins in four matches. A win against the Afghans is essential if they want to stay in the semis race.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan is at the bottom of the table with 2 points. Despite losing two matches in a row, Afghanistan’s confidence did not crack. Rashid-Navira shocked the cricket world in the next match. They beat current World Cup champions England by 69 runs in their third match. But Afghanistan could not continue the winning streak. In the fourth match, the Afghans lost to New Zealand by a huge margin of 149 runs.
Therefore, if they lose today’s match, the World Cup will almost be over for them. Team effort Rashid-Navira are ready to go down the hill to beat Pakistan. Mujibur Rahman will become the fourth Afghan bowler to take 100 ODI wickets if he gets just four wickets.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have met seven times in ODI cricket so far. Pakistan has won all of them. The two teams last met in an ODI last August. Pakistan whitewashed Afghanistan in the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafiq, Imam-ul Haque, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf.
Afghanistan XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujib ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq and Noor Ahmed.