The 36th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will be played between Pakistan vs Afghanistan at Leeds.
It seemed like Afghanistan had the game firmly under control with five overs remaining and 46 runs to get. Gulbadin Naib then took a match-turning decision to take up the ball himself for that over although he had three more overs of spin left. The spinners were doing a fantastic job till then and scoring against Rashid Khan was proving to be impossible. This over from Gulbadin completely shifted the balance towards Pakistan as Imad Wasim went bonkers.
The all-rounder smashed three boundaries in the over and collected 18 runs off the over, which brought the equation to just 28 runs in the last four overs. Wahab Riaz came out and hit a couple of very important boundaries although he had a fractured finger, which ensured they needed just six runs off the final over. Imad Wasim caressed the ball towards covers to seal a very important win for the Men in green, which keeps them ahead of England as it stands.
Imad keeps his calm and Tackle Afghani Spinners
Pakistan got off to a horrible start with Fakhar Zaman being trapped in front of the pads off the second ball. Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed him but Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam counter-attacked to get things back in their grips. It looked like smooth sailing for Pakistan with the duo adding 72 runs for the second wicket.
But things began to get tighter with Mohammad Nabi picking up these two batsmen in a span of two overs. He barely gave any runs away during his spell with Samiullah Shenwari, which helped Afghanistan improve the required run-rate. Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail batted for the next 12 overs to keep things quiet, but Hafeez once again threw his wicket.
Rashid came back to the attack and picked up the big wicket of Haris Sohail. Sarfaraz Ahmed went for a dreamy second run and couldn’t make it back in time, only to walk back to the pavilion at a critical moment. With the scoreboard pressure mounting on Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan out there, they needed 46 runs off 30 balls and with six wickets down, that seemed like an impossible mountain to climb.
But a poor decision taken captain Gulbadin Naib drowned the Afghans as he took the 46th over and gave away 18 runs when he had three spin overs left. Although Shadab ran himself out, Wahab came out with a fractured finger to hit two very important boundaries and take Pakistan into a winning position. Imad Wasim won it for Pakistan in the final over to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.
Afghanistan: 227/9 in 50 overs (Najibullah Zadran 42, Asghar Afghan 42; Shaheen Afridi 4/47)
Pakistan: 230/7 in 49.4 overs (Imad Wasim 49*, Babar Azam 45; Mohammad Nabi 2/23, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/34)
Result: Pakistan won by 3 wickets
Man of the match: Imad Wasim
ICC World Cup 2019 Pakistan vs Afghanistan Pitch Live streaming
The game will be live on Star Sports. Live streaming available on Hotstar.
ICC World Cup 2019 Pakistan vs Afghanistan Pitch Result & Highlights
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