The Afghanistan vs. Pakistan match started with Hashmatullah Shahidi winning the toss, and Afghanistan batted first. The opening partnership of 227 runs achieved within 40 overs showcased the remarkable prowess of the duo, propelling Afghanistan to their record-highest ODI score against Pakistan.
With the last over to play, Pakistan held their nerve in a last-over thriller despite Gurbaz 151’s efforts.
Pakistan 302 for 9 (Imam 91, Babar 53, Shadab 48, Farooqi 3-69) beat
Afghanistan 300 for 5 (Gurbaz 151, Zadran 80, Shaheen 2-58) by one wicket.
Pakistan won an exhilarating match against Afghanistan. They won in the last over and now lead the ODI series 2-0. This happened in Hambantota on Thursday. Pakistan was trying to score 301 runs, and even though it was difficult, they managed to avoid losing and keep their record of not losing in ODI matches against the hosts. They have now won six games in a row.
The match requires 11 runs to complete the over. Shadab Khan was playing unbeaten and solid on 48. Two wickets had Pakistan in hand. After that, Fazalhaq Farooqi caused a run-out by hitting the stumps when Shadab was out of his crease. On the other hand, Naseem Shah played well and slammed the first ball of the last over for a four-past long-off.
Shadab, Imam, and Babar shine
After losing Fakhar Zaman early, Pakistan made a good recovery. Imam-ul-Haq scored the most runs with 91 and had a partnership of 100 runs with Babar Azam for the second wicket. Imam seemed the most comfortable batter in the team, steadily accumulating runs by taking singles and twos.
He played 105 balls and hit four fours, helping Pakistan control their required run rate. Babar, who didn’t score in the first game, made a steady 53 runs. However, he got out to Farooqi in the 31st over. This allowed Afghanistan to make a comeback.
Afghanistan vs Pakistan 2nd ODI Highlights
Gurbaz showcased his clear intent immediately as he faced formidable opponents such as Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi. He efficiently reached the fifty-run milestone in just 72 deliveries with consistent boundary-hitting. However, as the match progressed beyond the 25-over mark, Gurbaz encountered discomfort in his left forearm, requiring assistance on multiple occasions.
Gurbaz’s standout moment in the match occurred during the 37th over when he faced Haris Rauf, the bowler who had previously taken five wickets against Afghanistan in the first game. In this particular over, Gurbaz displayed his expertise.
He confidently hit four consecutive fours, each in a different field direction – one towards fine leg, another to midwicket, followed by shots to deep square leg and deep third. This sequence of powerful strokes showcased Gurbaz’s specialization in handling various types of deliveries and his ability to raise the team’s scoring rate.
Gurbaz achieved many feats en route to his career-best score: he is the first Sri Lankan wicketkeeper to score 150 or more in ODIs against Pakistan, and he scored 151 in the third-highest individual ODI score of any Sri Lankan batter.
Meanwhile, Zadran began his innings quietly, gradually gaining momentum as the match continued. He took his time, facing 71 balls before reaching his fourth ODI fifty during the 30th over. Initially, he focused on rotating the strike and ensuring a steady run flow for the team.
Zadran’s consistent form was evident, having previously scored a century against Bangladesh in July. This match marked his 16th appearance in ODIs, and he impressively achieved his eighth half-century, showcasing the composure required for the longer 50-over format.
Pakistan’s plan to use short-pitched deliveries didn’t work well against Afghanistan’s opening batsmen. These batsmen effectively responded by hitting the ball straight down the field or playing powerful shots for boundaries. Despite this effort, Shaheen Afridi took wickets in the 45th over, removing Gurbaz and Rashid Khan. However, Pakistan’s chances of coming back were slim by that point.
Naseem Shah also contributed by taking a wicket in the final over, dismissing Mohammad Nabi. Despite the efforts of both spinners and seamers, they couldn’t break Afghanistan’s strong performance early in the match. The Afghan team remained determined and focused, showing high team spirit and resilience.