In the opening one-day match between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the national team clinched victory by a convincing margin of 142 runs.
The encounter took place in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, where Pakistan’s skipper, Babar Azam, won the coin toss and elected to bat first. However, this decision did not yield the desired outcome as the entire Pakistani lineup was dismissed for a total of 201 runs within 47 overs.
Chasing a target of 202 runs set by Pakistan, the Afghan team faced a daunting challenge and was bowled out for a mere 59 runs in the 20th over.
At the commencement of Pakistan’s innings, opener Fakhar-ul-Zaman returned to the pavilion after contributing just two runs from four balls, falling victim to Fazl ul Haq Farooqui. Shortly thereafter, Captain Babar Azam was caught by Mujeeb ur Rahman without making any runs.
While Rizwan managed 21 runs, Agha Salman and Usama Mir could only add 7 and 2 runs respectively. Shaheen Afridi also exited the field after scoring 2 runs.
However, Imam-ul-Haq displayed resilience, crafting an innings of 61 runs. Accompanying him, Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed contributed with 39 and 30 runs respectively. Naseem Shah remained unbeaten with 18 runs.
Afghanistan’s bowling performance was led by Mujib ur Rehman who secured 3 wickets, while Muhammad Nabi and Rashid Khan both claimed 2 wickets each. Rahmat Shah and Fazl ul Haq Farooqui chipped in with one wicket each.
When Afghanistan embarked on their pursuit of 202 runs, they encountered stern resistance from the Pakistani bowlers, leading to a collapse of their batting order.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz managed to score the highest, notching 18 runs for Afghanistan. However, he was eventually dismissed by Haris Rauf. Azmatullah Umar Zai retired after contributing 16 runs.
Unfortunately, apart from these two, no other Afghan batsman managed to reach double figures, resulting in the team’s total collapse at a mere 59 runs.
On Pakistan’s side, Haris Rauf was a standout performer, taking down 5 Afghan players. Shaheen Shah Afridi secured 2 wickets, conceding only 9 runs, while Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan both secured one wicket each.
For his exceptional bowling performance, Haris Rauf was awarded the Man of the Match title. His spellbinding display included taking 5 wickets while conceding only 18 runs.