In a high-octane showdown at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Afghanistan emerged triumphant over Pakistan in the 22nd match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, winning by 8 wickets. This enthralling battle showcased spectacular performances by players from both sides, treating cricket enthusiasts to an intense display of talent and sportsmanship.
Take a bow, Afghanistan! They had won just one WC match in two editions. Now, they have outplayed England and Pakistan – two teams that were touted as favorites.
Afghanistan’s Dominance in Batting
Afghanistan’s pursuit of Pakistan’s target began with confidence and vigor, with their batsmen determined to make their mark. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz led the charge, smashing 65 runs off 53 balls, setting the tone for a remarkable innings. Ibrahim Zadran provided unwavering support, crafting a resilient 87 off 113 deliveries. The spotlight then shifted to Rahmat Shah, who delivered an explosive performance by striking an impressive 77 runs off just 84 balls. These formidable innings paved the way for Afghanistan’s dominance in the chase.
Steadfast Leadership from Hashmatullah Shahidi
Hashmatullah Shahidi, who captained the side, showcased his skill and leadership qualities by remaining unbeaten at the crease. His commendable contribution of 48 runs from 45 balls significantly bolstered Afghanistan’s innings. The Afghan batting unit displayed remarkable unity and composure, eventually reaching their target of 286 runs with 7 balls to spare.
The bowlers from both teams showcased remarkable resilience throughout the match. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi delivered a powerful performance with the ball, securing one wickets while conceding 58 runs. Hasan Ali also made an impact with one wickets to his name. However, Afghanistan’s batsmen remained undeterred, ultimately achieving their target.
Pakistan’s Battling Spirit
Despite a challenging target to defend, Pakistan’s batting lineup exhibited determination and skill. Shafique stood out by amassing 58 runs while Imam-ul-Haq contributed 17. Captain Babar Azam led from the front with a remarkable 74 runs to his name, while Iftikhar played a critical role with 40 runs to his credit. The match witnessed moments of brilliance from Saud Shakeel and Shadab Khan, who scored 25 and 40 runs, respectively. However, their collective efforts led to a total of 282 runs for Pakistan.
Bowling Under Pressure
While Pakistan’s bowlers delivered commendable performances, they were met with resilience by Afghanistan’s formidable batting lineup. Naveen-ul-Haq claimed two wickets at the expense of 52 runs, while Noor Ahmed secured three wickets during the match. The duels between bowlers and batters added to the intensity of the contest.
STAT: This is the first win for Afghanistan against Pakistan in eight ODIs.
Afghanistan wins in ODI World Cups
Beat Scotland by 1 wicket, Dunedin, 2015
Beat England by 69 runs, Delhi, 2023
Beat Pakistan by 8 wickets, Chennai, 2023*
Highest totals for Afghanistan in World Cups
288 vs West Indies, Leeds, 2019
286 vs Pakistan, Chennai, today*
284 vs England, Delhi, 2023
272 vs India, Delhi, 2023
Highest target chased by Afghanistan in ODIs
283 vs PAK, Chennai, today*
274 vs UAE, ICCA Dubai, 2014
269 vs SL, Hambantota, 2023
268 vs SCO, Edinburgh, 2019
Highest target chased vs Pakistan in World Cups
283 by Afghanistan, Chennai, today
274 by India, Centurion, 2003
267 by West Indies, Birmingham, 1975
243 by South Africa, Karachi, 1996
Most overs bowled by spinners in a WC match
60.0 – AFG vs PAK, Leeds, 2019
59.0 – IND vs IRE, Bengaluru, 2011
59.0 – AFG vs PAK, Chennai, today*
58.0 – IND vs BAN, Mirpur, 2011
Spinners’ bowling today
Afghanistan: 38 overs, 176 runs, 4 wickets, ER 4.6
Pakistan: 21 overs, 131 runs, 0 wickets, ER 6.2
Most runs for Afghanistan in ODI WC
404 – Rahmat Shah
365 – Hashmatullah Shahidi
360 – Najibullah Zadran
328 – Samiullah Shinwari
Pakistan while defending 275+ totals in WC
13 – Won
1 – Lost – (vs AFG)*
Toss and Venue
In this thrilling encounter, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. The match took place at the iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, where the average first-inning score is 240.
The Afghanistan vs. Pakistan match will be remembered for its pulsating cricket action, where both teams displayed remarkable talent and determination. Afghanistan’s triumph will undoubtedly boost their confidence, while Pakistan’s spirited performance exemplified their cricketing prowess. This electrifying encounter was a true testament to the excitement and competitive spirit of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.