Afghanistan down Pakistan in their highest ODI chase

By AZ Khan
ISLAMABAD: And finally Afghanistan did the trick to beat Pakistan in their eighth attempt and that too at a bigger stage in Chennai, a surface which did not offer more to the bowlers especially when Pakistan was defending a total of 283 which appeared to be not enough.
Afghanistan downed the Green-shirts by eight wickets in a highest successful chase which also sparked emotional scenes in the dug out and wild celebrations across Afghanistan which has learnt cricket from Pakistan.
Ibrahim Zadran (87) rop-scored for the Afghans smashing ten fours in his 113-ball solid effort. He added 130 for the opening stand with Rahmatullah Gurbaz who blasted 53-ball 65, slamming nine fours and one six. Ibrahim was also involved in the 60-run second wicket association with Rehmat Shah who chipped in with an unbeaten 84-ball 77, striking five fours and two sixes.
Rehmat Shah added 96 for the third wicket unbroken stand with skipper Dhahidullah Shahidi who remained not out on 45-bal 48, hammering four fours.
Shaheen Afridi (1-58) and Hasan Ali (1-44) took one wicket each.
Earlier Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bat first.
Babar, who hit his second fifty of the event with his solid 74 off 92 balls took his side to 282-7 in the allotted 50 overs.
Babar smacked four fours and one six before falling prey to rookie left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmed.
Abdullah Shafique made 58, his second successive fifty, having hit two sixes and five fours from 75 balls.
After Babar’s fall Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed took charge and they knitted rapid 73 in the seventh wicket stand to take their side to a total which could be defended.
Shadab struck a 38-ball 40 with one six and one four while Iftikhar was extraordinary as he smacked a few ferocious strokes, having hammered four sixes and two fours in his 27-ball 40.
Noor Ahmed, who also took the wicket of Rizwan (8) and Abdullah Shafique inflicted the most damage on Pakistan by taking 3-48 while Naveen-ul-Haq captured 2-52.

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