ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019
Venue: Headingley, Leeds
Date & Time: 29 June 2019
RR: 4.63 | Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 3 wickets
That's all from this close encounter. Afghanistan really scared Pakistan just like they did to India but failed to cross the line. On Sunday, we have a mouthwatering match lined up - England will be taking on India in a crucial encounter at Edgbaston. Do join us at 1030 local (0930 GMT) for all the action. Meanwhile, you can switch to the concerned tab to get the updates from Match 37 of this World Cup. Cheers!
Pakistan skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed starts by thanking the Almighty. He then thanks the fans for their support. Credits Imad Wasim for his brilliant innings. Informs that the pitch was two-paced and they knew it was going to be a tough chase. He is happy though that everyone chipped in. Credits his team as it is not easy winning 4 out of 4 games. Credits Wahab too as his 12-15 runs helped the team. Mentions that Shaheen has worked hard and he bowled really well along with the other bowlers. Further adds that they will watch India taking on England on Sunday but are not thinking too far ahead.
Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib says they fought well and gave their all but in the end they missed the opportunity to win. Credits Imad for the way he played and also praises Shadab for rotating the strike. Feels had they worked slightly harder, they could have won. Still reckons that they improved with every game. On bowling that 46th over, he replies that they lost Hamid Hassan due to injury otherwise he would have been bowling that over and counts that as their bad luck. Credits his bowlers for bowling the way they did. States that in a tournament like this, getting 40 odd runs is not enough to put big runs on the board and wants his batsmen to take more responsibility. He also thanks the crowd for all the support.
Imad Wasim is adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-round performance! Says when he came to bat Rashid was bowling really well and admits he struggled to pick him. Tells the plan was to play the full 50 overs. Mentions that Naib was the only bowler they could have targeted as Afghanistan have great spinners. Thanks the crowd for their support as it made them feel at home and also dedicates this win to the supporters. States that this win has given them a lot of confidence and hopes that they can win the next one and qualify for the semi-finals.
A target of 228 on this turning pitch was always going to be tricky. Once Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman on the second ball of the run chase it gave us a hint that it's not going to be a smooth ride for the green team. But then, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq got involved in a 72-run stand to pave the way. Just when it looked like Pakistan will cruise, Mohammad Nabi removed both Imam and Babar in quick succession to peg Pakistan back. Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail also formed a partnership but the Afghan bowlers kept bouncing back to create pressure. The run out of Sarfaraz Ahmed handed the Asian minnows the upper hand but Shadab and Imad stitched in a match-winning 50-run stand to close the doors on Afghanistan. The 46th over where Imad Wasim took Gulbadin Naib to the cleaners by hammering 18 runs proved to be the turning point as it took away the scoreboard pressure.
A narrow escape for Pakistan and they have moved to the number 4 spot in the points table, one point ahead of England. Imad Wasim has done it for them. A very vital knock from the southpaw. He struggled at the start of his innings but gutted it out and has scripted a thrilling victory for his team. A word of praise for Wahab Riaz as well whose 9-ball 15 cannot be undermined. Heartbreak for Afghanistan. But credit to them for making Pakistan sweat hard for this win. Well done, Afghans!
6 needed off 6 balls. Gulbadin Naib has the ball in his hand.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is into the attack. His team needs him to build pressure with dots and a wicket here will be cherry on the cake.
Wahab Riaz walks out to bat next. Remember he has a fracture on his finger. Wahab can hit the long ball but will this injury be an issue?
Appeal for a run out! Is there any more twist left in this match? Shadab is in question. Has his dive saved him?
Rashid Khan into the attack. His skipper bowled an expensive last over and now Rashid will have to get a wicket here. If not a wicket he will look to not leak too many runs.
Slight hold up in play. Imad Wasim has cramped himself and is lying flat on the ground. Shadab helps him in stretching. Physio has come out now. 38 needed off 27 balls.
Gulbadin Naib to bowl. Asghar Afghan has a chat with him and sets the field. It seems that the ex-skipper has taken over the control.
Samiullah Shinwari is back into the attack.
Rashid Khan is back into the attack. 7-0-26-1, his figures so far.
Gulbadin Naib is back on.
Powerplay 3 time. Now a maximum of 5 fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle till the end of this game.
Shadab Khan is the new batsman. Also, Mujeeb has returned into the attack. Afghanistan are roaring here. They are applying relentless pressure on their neighbours and are sniffing an upset here.
Run out appeal is referred upstairs! Sarfaraz has dived in but it seems he is short. Let's find out. Big moment for Pakistan.
Drinks break. This match is alive and kicking. 74 needed off 72 balls. Rashid and Mujeeb have 7 overs remaining and it's not going to be easy for Pakistan. The pitch is turning and causing a lot of trouble to the batsmen. We are heading for a thrilling finish here.
The skipper, Gulbadin Naib is back into the attack.
Imad Wasim is the new batsman. All he needs to do is to rotate the strike. 86 needed off 90 balls.
Rashid Khan is back! He has been wicket-less so far in the four overs that he has bowled. Afghanistan want their ace spinner to strike here and break this dangerously developing stand.
Mohammad Nabi is back into the attack. He was outstanding in his first spell where he hunted down Imam and Babar. Gulbadin Naib has gone back to his main spinners here. He knows that only wickets can win them this match.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed strides out to the centre with Pakistan in a little spot of bother. More than hundred runs needed. A slip is in place.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back into the attack. He was brilliant in his first spell and also dismissed Fakhar Zaman for a 2-ball duck. Afghanistan want more from him.
Gulbadin Naib is back on. His figures so far 4-0-22-0.
Rahmat Shah is on now. Hold on, he was all set to bowl but there was a long chat and now the ball is thrown to Samiullah Shinwari. He is going to bowl now.
Drinks break. Mohammad Nabi has sent jitters to the Pakistan dressing room here. Two wickets in quick succession, dismissing both the set batsmen, and Afghanistan have gained some momentum here. 147 needed more with a new pair in the middle. Haris Sohail has joined Mohammad Hafeez.
Mohammad Hafeez arrives in the middle. He has been in decent form of late and would like to put together another partnership with Babar Azam. He needs to watch out for the part-timers though, has been getting out to them quite often in this tournament.
Stumping appeal! Imam-ul-Haq is already walking. But the square leg umpire wants to be extra sure. He has taken it upstairs.
It's Rashid time. Rashid Khan is now introduced into the attack.
Change of ends for Gulbadin Naib.
Change in bowling. Mohammad Nabi has been inserted into the attack. His off spinners will come in handy against Imam. A slip in place.
Powerplay 2 time. Now 4 fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle till the 40th over.
Shout for an lbw against Babar Azam! This time the finger has stayed down. Almost all the Afghanistan players come together and then Gulbadin Naib is seen signalling for the DRS. Impact looks to be an issue here. It indeed is. The replays confirm that and the crowd erupts in joy. Both teams have now ZERO review left.
Hamid Hassan cannot continue to bowl as of now. So the skipper brings himself into the attack.
Hamid Hassan is seen trudging off the field. He seems to be struggling with his hamstring.
Hamid Hassan to bowl with the second new ball.
Babar Azam is the number 3 batsman. He has been in supreme form for Pakistan and is fresh from a century against New Zealand.
Wicket second ball for Afghanistan! Mujeeb is running in celebration. But hang on, Fakhar wants to review it. He feels there is an inside edge. The third umpire is having a close look. It seems that the ball has hit the pad and bat at the same time. Very close.
We are back for the chase! The Afghanistan players are in a huddle before they take their respective positions in the field. Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman walk out to open the innings for Pakistan. Mujeeb Ur Rahman to operate with the first new ball.