Pakistan won the opening One-Day International (ODI) by 142 runs on Tuesday after skittling Afghanistan for 59.
Men in Green now lead the three-match ODI series being played in Sri Lanka, 1-0, after the victory. It is a home series for Afghanistan, which is unable to host international cricket matches in its own nation because of security issues.
After Pakistan set Afghanistan a target of 202 runs but they were bowled for only 59 runs in 19.2 overs, Haris Rauf grabbed a five-wicket haul.
Afghanistan’s second-lowest score in ODIs was bowled out.
Haris Rauf, who claimed 5-18 in 6.2 overs for Pakistan, this was his maiden five-wicket haul in national attire.
In his second over, Shaheen took two wickets in the space of two balls, establishing Pakistan’s batting strategy against Afghanistan.
Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah each claimed one wicket.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Afghanistan’s opener, scored the most runs with 18 runs.
Imam-ul-Haq’s valiant effort earlier in the first innings and Shadab Khan’s late valour helped Pakistan set a 202-run target for Afghanistan.
On a fantastically spinning track, Afghanistan’s bowlers shook Pakistan’s starting lineup. In his first over, Fazalhaq Farooqi dismissed Fakhar Zaman, putting Pakistan on the back foot.
The top ODI batsman and captain of Pakistan, Babar Azam, was bowled out by Mujeeb ur Rehman’s spinning delivery in the following over.
For a short while, Mohammad Rizwan and Imam remained at the crease, although they were only able to combine for 33 runs. Mujeeb was the person who also caught Rizwan (21) on an LBW that appeared to be a little shady and sparked some discussion on social media.
Iftikhar Ahmed, who typically serves as the team’s finisher, was in charge of anchoring the score this time. Alongside Imam, who had just reached his 17th ODI half-century, he did it incredibly well. They both scored 50 points out of 69, which helped Pakistan seem more alive.
After scoring 30 runs, the right-handed smasher was taken out. Rashid Khan arrived at that point and gave Iftikhar a couple opportunities, but he ultimately lost to Mohammad Nabi in the 27th over.
With two wickets each, Rashid and Nabi significantly improved Afghanistan’s bowling.
Imam established his third alliance of the day with Shadab. This time, they jointly scored 40 runs before Imam lost his composure against Nabi and offered a catch at mid-on that Rashid successfully took. Imam collected 61 points from 94 balls after surviving before on two consecutive dropped catches.
Naseem Shah, who had a nightmare for the Afghans in last year’s T20 Asia Cup, immediately offered his support to Shadab. On the final two game-deciding balls from Fazalhaq Farooqui, Naseem smashed two consecutive sixes to give Pakistan an incredible victory.
Prior to Shadab being run out, Naseem and Shadab combined for 34 runs off 47 balls.
As Afghanistan bowled out Pakistan for the first time in ODIs, Rahmat Shah claimed the final wicket of Haris Rauf.