Afghanistan vs Pakistan: Rizwan & Babar helped to add 110 in the third wicket, and after that, Agha Salman and Mohammad Nawaz helped the team to get high.
50 overs Pakistan 268 for 8 vs Afghanistan
Afghanistan vs Pakistan: Rizwan, Babar fifties help Pakistan to 268
The match had two innings. Initially, Pakistan scored only 103 runs in the first 30 overs. However, in the latter part, they significantly improved, accumulating 165 runs within the following 20 overs. Pakistan was the first team to bat on a challenging Colombo field. The batsmen faced difficulties early on.
Babar and Rizwan scored 110 runs, but it took them 145 deliveries. Despite a minor setback, Salman and Nawaz stabilized the situation and played a key role in Pakistan’s strong finish.The Fazalhaq Farooqi was early out of the block, hitting five for 20 balls. The other Struggle performed by Imam-ul-Haq.He played very well; on the other hand, he lacked time.
Pakistan kept scoring at a rate of more than four runs per over, and Fakhar was getting comfortable. However, the situation changed when the opposing team changed their bowling. Gulbadin Naib, playing his first match in the series instead of the injured Azmatullah Omarzai, made a quick impact.
He bowled with speed around the mid-120s and made the ball move in a way that caused problems for Imam and Fakhar.
Then, Naib took out Imam too. Imam hurried down the track to hit a shorter ball wide outside the off-stump. Similar to what happened with Fakhar, the ball moved away from him, fooling him. He swung his bat wildly but managed a thick edge, which Rahmanullah Gurbaz caught.
Babar and Rizwan joined forces in the 13th over, and in the following overs, scoring runs became very difficult. Only four fours were hit in the next 18 overs, and the speed they scored dropped to below 3.50 runs per over. The Afghan team stuck to their plan, but both batters seemed to lack determination to score.
However, both batters were unable to reach a score of 100 runs. Rashid Khan made Babar edge the ball, leading to his dismissal. As for Rizwan, he was declared lbw (leg before wicket) to Fareed Ahmed.
However, Rizwan might feel unlucky, as video replays suggested that the ball would have just grazed the top of the leg stump. Meanwhile, Afghanistan also executed a run-out of Saud Shakeel during these events. This caused Pakistan to lose 3 wickets for just 9 runs in 15 balls.
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Nonetheless, Nawaz and Salman ensured that Pakistan finished well. They put together a partnership of 61 runs off 47 balls for the seventh wicket. Even though Afghanistan had performed impressively in the field during the first half of the innings, they began to make mistakes.
This was evident through multiple instances of poor fielding and missed opportunities, allowing Pakistan to surpass 250 runs relatively easily.
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What difference can Gurbaz make for Afghanistan?
Afghanistan has a significant issue with their top batting lineup. They only performed well in this series when Gurbaz played exceptionally. Like Babar, Gurbaz has a lot of experience playing on Sri Lankan pitches, as he participated in all four LPL seasons.
Considering that Afghanistan’s men’s cricket team is placed in a challenging group alongside Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the initial stage of the Asia Cup, it’s important to note that Gurbaz has an average score of 58.6 in six matches against Bangladesh. Could he be prepared to take a significant step forward in his cricket career? Maybe he could lead the Afghanistan top batting order with his performance.