GAME 8: PAKISTAN VS AFGHANISTAN
It was another important encounter in ICC World cup 2019 8th match Pakistan vs Afghanistan. Pakistan played its 8th Cricket World Cup 2019 game against Afghanistan at Headingley, Leeds. Team Pakistan had just won one essential game from New Zealand.
It was a point where Pakistan could not sustain to lose any game further. watch Match Pakistan vs Afghanistan was very important for Pakistan Ranking. The overall situation of the Group Standings was interested at the spot because in the next two games in England were very crucial. Because if England loses any of its upcoming games, England will be knocked out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Performance of Pakistan who had won all its essential and must win games against England, New Zeal and South Africa which are the top ranking sides on ICC ODI Cricket ratings and now Pakistan had to win from Afghanistan and Bangladesh to qualify for the semis. It was Afghanistan who wins the toss and they had elected to bat first at Leeds Cricket Stadium, England.
That’s pertinent to mention here that Pakistan had to win this game with quite a good margin. Because Pakistan was suffering from net Run Rate issues in the points table. Pakistan had lost its important and golden point from Sri Lanka match. At Taunton, there has been raining all day long.
So the match officials had to call off the game. The game under discussion, Pakistan was bowling first. It was a good sign for Pakistan that its bowling form was back. The strike bowlers were bowling on really good and tight lengths. Afghanistan had a start of 27 runs when they lose their first wicket.
Shaheen Shah Afridi again who gave the early breakthrough to Pakistan because Afridi was really a superb performance from Pakistani pace bowler who provided the double breakthrough in one single over. Gulbadin Naib who played a pull shot against Shaheen Shah and gave a catch to Sarfaraz Ahmad, the Pakistani Wicket Keeper.
A big success for Pakistan between match Pakistan vs Afghanistan because he was scoring some nice crafted innings in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The next wicket of Hashmattulah Shahidi was fall in no time. Shaheen Shah Afridi bowl almost a bad delivery to him on his leg side. But luckily Shaheen Shah had some swing with the ball.
Hashmattulah Shahidi tries to play the shot on the leg side but the ball takes the top edge of the bat. It was a simple catch for the mid on fielder. Afghanistan was under immense pressure due to an early and quick loss of 2 important and key wickets. It was a good sign for Pakistan that it manages to steal 2 early wickets.
Now, the momentum was totally in the pockets of Pakistan. And Afghanistan was under huge pressure because Afghanistan wanted to end its ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at a good note. After losing 2 important wickets, the new batsmen take responsibility and try to develop the partnership.
Rehmat and Ikram build a positive partnership of 30 runs off 43 balls which strengthen Afghanistan’s innings. Then Afghanistan loses their 3rd wicket at 57 runs. Asghar Afghan join the party and take the control of the innings. Asghar very experienced campaigner of the team.
He is a good hard hitter and stylish player of ODI cricket. Ikramalong with Asghar builds a partnership of 60 runs off 80 balls and the momentum was shifting towards the Afghanistan team and it was the alarming situation for Pakistan to take any more wicket. Asghar Afghan was scoring well at a good pace. But due to lack of concentration, he was bowled by Pakistani famous leg spinner Shadab Khan.
The timely wicket of Asghar Afghan again prevailed the pressure on Afghanistan. Pakistan had its momentum back with the good and tight bowling and Afghanistan had lost all its main batsmen of the top order. It was a chance for Pakistan to limit Afghanistan at the lowest total of runs. Afghanistan loses one another wicket at regular intervals.
Pakistan bowling did give any room to settle any batsmen at the wicket because Afghanistan manages to score a total of 227 runs with the loss of 9 wickets after facing 50 overs. It was a meager total for Pakistan batting line up. Pakistan had a golden chance to chase this total and to improve its Net Run Rate.
And to get the other 2 precious points because of Fakhar Zaman who through his wicket at Zero. It was a big shock for Pakistan that Fakhar Zaman could not score a decent total and then Babar Azam along with the Young Gun Imam Ul Haq had a partnership of 72 runs in quick session.
This partnership determines the decision of the game. At the total of 72 runs, Imam Ul Haq was out by playing a rash and nothing shot and it exerts a little pressure on Pakistan. Then Babar Azam played a sweep shot towards the leg side and miss the ball completely. The hit the leg stump and he loses his wicket. The Afghanistan cricket team was very happy to steal the wicket of almighty and super stylish all time the best batsman of Pakistan.
It was Muhammad Nabi to took the wicket of Mr. Babar Azam and help Afghanistan to exert the real pressure on Pakistan chase. This minimal total of Afghanistan was becoming unchangeable for Pakistan due to regular loss of wickets. Pakistan loses its middle order in no time. All the pressure was on the bowlers to chase the total.
It was Imad Wasim who took the responsibility and score 49 runs off 56 deliveries and along with Wahab Riaz build a successful partnership. This partnership created the baseline for the final success for Pakistan. The game was taken in the final to decide. Pakistan had 3 wickets left in the tank. Then Imad Wasim played a full toss delivery towards off side and scored a beautiful boundary and Pakistan won and Pakistan did not bother to improve its Net run rate rather go and steal the 2 points for winning the game.