AFG vs PAK Match Overview
In the first One-Day International (ODI) of the series, Pakistan showcased their cricketing prowess by defeating Afghanistan with a staggering margin of 142 runs. The match, held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota, saw Pakistan setting a challenging target which Afghanistan failed to chase, getting bundled out for a paltry score.
Toss and Decision
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first, a decision that proved fruitful as they set a competitive target for Afghanistan to chase.
Pakistan’s Batting Performance
With contributions from top-order batsmen like Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and Babar Azam, Pakistan managed to put up a commendable total on the board.
In response, Afghanistan’s batting lineup crumbled under pressure. The team could only manage a score of 59 in 19.2 overs, with Pakistan‘s bowlers, especially Haris Rauf, delivering a stellar performance. Rauf’s exceptional bowling was highlighted when he dismissed Afghanistan’s Ikram Alikhil, a moment that was captured and celebrated.
This victory gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan. The two teams have a history of close encounters, with their last meeting during the 2019 ODI World Cup seeing Pakistan narrowly securing a win.
The next ODI in the series is eagerly anticipated, with both teams looking to make a mark. While Pakistan would aim to seal the series, Afghanistan would be keen to level it.
Players to Watch
Haris Rauf (the player of the match)
Forever grateful to Allah for all the achievements! 🇵🇰— Haris Rauf (@HarisRauf14) August 22, 2023
Great start to the series! Everyone gave their 100% on field!
On to the next one 🤲🏻 pic.twitter.com/RqKM5CFxW7
His exceptional bowling spell was one of the key reasons for Afghanistan’s batting collapse. His dismissal of Ikram Alikhil was one of the turning points of the match.
Babar Azam (Pakistan captain)
Pakistan‘s captain and one of the modern-day greats, Babar played a crucial role in setting up a formidable total for Afghanistan to chase.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (Afghanistan captain)
The Afghan captain will be under scrutiny in the upcoming matches, with fans expecting a strong comeback from his side.
The first ODI set the tone for an exciting series ahead. With Pakistan in the lead, it remains to be seen how Afghanistan responds in the upcoming matches. Cricket enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for the next face-off between these two competitive sides.