Leeds, June 29: Shaheen Shah Afridi snared four wickets as Pakistan restricted Afghanistan to 227/9 in 50 overs in their World Cup clash here on Saturday.
Sarfaraz Ahmedsaid, ” Thank you for the crowd for cheering us. It’s not an easy pitch to bat. Credit to Imad for how he batted, taking the pressure in and winning the match for us. It’s not an easy game. The way Wahab Riaz also batted, his 12-15 runs also helped us. Shaheen is also working very hard. All the bowlers bowled really well.”
Gulbadin Naib, ” We fought very well but in the end, we missed opportunities to win. Credit goes to Pakistan to show how to win. In the end, Shadab and everyone did very well to rotate the strike and stay in the match. The matches we lost, we lost in the end. Bad luck for us today as Hamid Hassan was injured today. Credit goes to Mujeeb, Nabi and Rashid but losing Hamid was the turning point for us.”
Afridi, who returned figures of 3/28 against New Zealand and helped his team to a win in the last match, conceded 47 runs in 10 overs and bagged four wickets to never let Afghanistan take the charge as Imad Wasim (2/48) and Wahab Riaz (2/29) also came good with the ball.
For the Afghans who won the toss and elected to bat first, Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran top-scored with identical scores of 42.
While Asghar blazed his way off 35 balls, his innings laced with three fours and and two sixes, Zadran took 54 deliveries hitting six fours.
Opener Rahmat Shah (35; 43b, 4×5) also looked good before he was caught by Babar Azam at short cover off Wasim.
Afghanistan were 27/2 before Rahmat and Ikram Alikhil (24) tried to steady the ship.
But after Rahmat’s dismissal, things fell apart although Asghar and Alikhil shared a 64-run stand for the fourth wicket.
While Asghar was caslted by Shadab Khan, Alikhil could not takcle the pressure of dot balls before finally holing out to long on where Mohammed Hafeez took an easy catch off Wasim.
Zadran and Mohammed Nabi then stitched together a crucial 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Riaz got Nabi’s back and Zadran dragged a Afridi delivery on to his stumps.
The Afghans could not manage to score much in the last five overs but still managed to put up their highest score in the tournament batting first.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 227/9 in 50 overs (Asghar Afghan 42, Najibullah Zadran 42, Shaheen Shah Afridi 4/47) vs Pakistan
Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib on Saturday won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in their World Cup fixture at Headingley.
Afghanistan have made one change to their playing XI. They have included Hamid Hassan in place of Dawlat Zadran. On the other hand, Pakistan have gone with the same team that featured against New Zealand.