In a thrilling showdown of World Cup Games, Afghanistan orchestrated another major upset in the ICC World Cup 2023. This time, their remarkable performance saw them secure an impressive eight-wicket victory over the 1992 champions, Pakistan, at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The stage was set with Pakistan opting to bat first and posting a competitive total of 283 runs. Pakistan’s skipper, Babar Azam, along with opener Abdullah Shafique, displayed their prowess, both notching up well-deserved half-centuries. Despite a minor collapse in the middle of their innings, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan’s contributions of 40 runs each propelled Pakistan’s total beyond the 280-run mark.
However, Afghanistan’s teenage leg spinner, Noor Ahmad, proved to be the turning point of the innings by claiming two crucial wickets, temporarily halting Pakistan’s progress. The Green Team found themselves in a precarious position, four wickets down at 163 runs.
As Afghanistan began their chase, their top order came out all guns blazing. Ibrahim Zadran, with his explosive 87 runs, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s powerful 65, ignited a breakneck opening stand of 130 runs. This electric start set the stage for a memorable victory.
Rahmat Shah (77) and skipper Hashvvvhmatullah Shahidi (48 not out) then joined forces in an unbroken 96-run partnership, guiding Afghanistan to their second triumph in the tournament. This win also marked Afghanistan’s first-ever One Day International (ODI) victory against Pakistan.
What makes this victory all the more special is Afghanistan’s consistent performance throughout the World Cup Games. Earlier in the tournament, they had stunned defending champions England, solidifying their reputation as giant killers on the cricketing stage.
In a heartwarming gesture following the match, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, lived up to his promise by gifting a bat to Afghanistan’s star batter, Rahmanullah Gurbaz. A viral video captured the moment, with Babar expressing, “I promised him a long time back of gifting a bat.” This gesture of sportsmanship showcases the camaraderie that transcends borders in the world of cricket.
The Men in Green will now face South Africa at the same venue on October 27, as they aim to turn their World Cup campaign around. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is set to clash with Sri Lanka on October 30 in Lucknow, seeking to continue their stunning run in the World Cup Games. Afghanistan and Pakistan, both with two wins and three losses in their group games, are poised for an exciting journey in this prestigious cricketing event.
HIGHLIGHTS: Pak vs Aus World Cup Games Match # 18
In the scintillating clash of World Cup Games on that memorable day in Chennai, Afghanistan’s remarkable performance left cricket fans around the world in awe. Pakistan’s decision to bat first at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium set the stage for an electrifying showdown.
Captain Babar Azam, widely regarded as one of Pakistan’s most promising talents, showcased his batting prowess with a captivating half-century. He was ably supported by opener Abdullah Shafique, who matched his captain’s brilliance with a stunning performance of his own. The duo plundered 91 runs from the final 10 overs, elevating Pakistan’s total to a competitive 282-7, setting a challenging target for Afghanistan.
Yet, the real magic unfolded as Afghanistan stepped onto the pitch. Afghanistan’s opening pair, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, displayed an explosive brand of cricket that set the stadium alight. Their partnership of 130 runs at a blistering pace provided the perfect start for their team. The rapid run accumulation left Pakistan’s bowlers bewildered and the fans on the edge of their seats.
Rahmat Shah’s composed innings of 77 and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 48 not out further solidified Afghanistan’s grip on the match. The duo’s unbroken 96-run partnership was the finishing touch, ensuring Afghanistan’s second victory in the tournament, along with their historic first-ever ODI win against Pakistan.
This was not an isolated success for Afghanistan. Earlier in the tournament, they had stunned the defending champions, England, firmly establishing themselves as the giant killers of the World Cup Games.
After the thrilling contest, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, exhibited exemplary sportsmanship by fulfilling a promise he had made to Afghanistan’s standout batsman, Rahmanullah Gurbaz. A viral video captured the moment when Babar handed over a bat to Gurbaz, saying, “I promised him a long time back of gifting a bat.” This heartwarming gesture exemplified the camaraderie and mutual respect that cricket fosters on the global stage.
As the tournament unfolds, both Afghanistan and Pakistan have intriguing matches ahead. The Men in Green, with two wins and three losses, are determined to make a comeback and will face South Africa at the same venue on October 27. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s stunning run in the World Cup Games continues as they gear up to take on Sri Lanka on October 30 in Lucknow.
The World Cup 2023 is a testament to the unpredictable and thrilling nature of cricket, where underdogs can rise to the occasion and champions can be humbled. Afghanistan’s remarkable journey is a testament to the spirit of the game, where passion, talent, and sportsmanship combine to create unforgettable moments. The World Cup Games continue to deliver excitement and surprises, captivating cricket enthusiasts worldwide.
Pakistan (282/7 in 50 overs):
- Babar Azam: 74 runs (92 balls)
- Abdullah Shafique: 58 runs (75 balls)
- Iftikhar Ahmed: 40 runs (27 balls)
Bowling Performances for Pakistan:
- Noor Ahmad: 3/49 (10 overs)
- Naveen-ul-Haq: 2/52 (7 overs)
- Mohammad Nabi: 1/31 (10 overs)
Afghanistan (286/2 in 49 overs):
- Ibrahim Zadran: 87 runs (113 balls)
- Rahmat Shah: 77* runs (84 balls)
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz: 65 runs (53 balls)
Bowling Performances for Afghanistan:
- Hasan Ali: 1/44 (10 overs)
- Shaheen Afridi: 1/58 (10 overs)
- Iftikhar Ahmed: 0/27 (5 overs)