Afghanistan Defeats Pakistan in Historic ICC World Cup 2023 Match

In Afghanistan’s first ODI victory over Pakistan, the team achieved their highest successful chase in the format, winning by eight wickets. The match took place during the ICC World Cup 2023 in Chennai.

Coming into the game, Afghanistan had failed to beat Pakistan in seven previous ODIs, but this time, they broke the jinx with a convincing performance. Chasing Pakistan’s target of 283, Afghanistan managed to score 286 for 2 with six balls to spare. This win not only marked their first victory over Pakistan in ODI cricket but also the highest successful chase against Pakistan in a World Cup game.

Pakistan’s decision to bat first seemed reasonable, and they posted a competitive total of 282 for 7. Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique both scored fifties, and useful contributions from Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan bolstered the innings.

Image Source- Cricbuzz

Afghanistan’s Impressive Batting

In reply, Afghanistan’s batsmen were determined and focused on their mission. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran put on a 130-run partnership for the opening wicket, with both players reaching half-centuries. After their dismissals, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi took charge of the chase, guiding Afghanistan to victory within 49 overs.

The chase began in spectacular fashion as Gurbaz and Ibrahim attacked the Pakistani bowlers, with Gurbaz particularly aggressive against Haris Rauf. Both openers reached their fifties, and it took Afghanistan just 15.3 overs to cross the 100-run mark. Pakistan’s first breakthrough came when Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Gurbaz in the 22nd over.

However, there was no panic for Afghanistan as Rahmat and Shahidi calmly continued their partnership. They added an unbeaten 96 runs for the third wicket, ensuring Afghanistan’s victory with plenty of control and composure.

impact on the Chennai pitch, and the Afghanistan batsmen capitalized on the conditions. Rahmat Shah finished with an unbeaten 77, while Shahidi contributed a crucial 48 not out to seal the win.

The first innings of the match had distinct phases, with Pakistan initially dominating, followed by a period of Afghanistan’s spinners asserting control, and finally, Pakistan accelerating in the last ten overs to post a challenging total.

The pitch in Chennai had previously been used for India’s game against Australia, and Afghanistan made a strategic decision to include Noor Ahmad, adding another spinner to their XI. Initially, this move appeared to backfire as Pakistan got off to a strong start during the powerplay, reaching 56 for no loss in the first ten overs, a rare occurrence for them at the World Cup.

Abdullah Shafique’s sixes were notable, and Pakistan reached their first powerplay six after a long drought. However, Mohammad Nabi’s variations and Azmatullah Omarzai’s fielding prowess led to Imam-ul-Haq’s dismissal.

As the ball got older and the pitch showed signs of wear, Pakistan’s scoring rate slowed down between the 16th and 31st overs, with only two fours and a six scored during this period, resulting in the loss of two key wickets to Noor Ahmad.

At 206 for 5 after 42 overs, Pakistan seemed to be falling short of a competitive score. However, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan changed the course of the innings with a partnership that added 73 runs in just 45 balls, ensuring Pakistan reached a respectable total despite a lackluster performance by Afghanistan’s bowlers in the death overs.

Afghanistan is currently in 6th position in the ICC World Cup 2023 points table, with a total of 4 points from 5 matches. They have won 2 matches and lost 3 matches. Their net run rate is -0.969.

Check World Cup 2023 Points Table Update After Afghanistan Win Over Pakistan

In summary, Afghanistan’s historic ODI victory over Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup showcased their ability to perform under pressure and their resilience in chasing down a significant target, marking a significant milestone in their cricketing journey.

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