Cricket World Cup 2023: Afghanistan seal historic win over Pakistan in Chennai thriller

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ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Chennai:
Pakistan 282-7 (50 overs): Babar 74 (92), Shafique 58 (75); Noor 3-39
Afghanistan 286-2 (49 overs): Zadran 87 (113), Gurbaz 65 (53), Rahmat 77* (84), Hashmat 48* (45)
Afghanistan won by eight wickets
Scorecard. Table

Afghanistan beat Pakistan for the first time in one-day cricket by pulling off their highest successful chase in the format in a World Cup thriller.

Ibrahim Zadran made 87, Rahmanullah Gurbaz smacked 65 and Rahmat Shah struck an unbeaten 77 as Afghanistan reached their target of 283 with eight wickets and six balls to spare.

Afghanistan are up to sixth, leaving holders England bottom of the table.

Captain Babar Azam earlier made 74 from 92 balls as Pakistan posted 282-7.

Teenage spinner Noor Ahmad was the pick of the Afghanistan bowlers, taking 3-49.

It is Afghanistan’s first win over Pakistan in ODIs at the eighth attempt, with their total of 286-2 seeing them eclipse their previous record successful chase of 276-8 when set 274 to beat United Arab Emirates in 2014.

It is also only Afghanistan’s third World Cup win, after victories over Scotland in 2015 and England earlier in this tournament.

Afghanistan keep hopes alive

The Afghanistan fans in the crowd went wild when skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi hit the winning runs, the players saluting them with a lap of honour, some draped in the national flag.

The match brought back memories of another thriller between the sides at Headingley in the 2019 World Cup, though it is Afghanistan who came out on top this time to finally beat their near neighbour in this format.

It also proved Afghanistan’s victory over England in Delhi was no fluke as they coped admirably under pressure during the run chase.

Openers Gurbaz and Zadran made a blistering start to ensure they stayed ahead of the required rate, putting on 130 for the first wicket, their second century stand of the tournament.

Gurbaz top-edged to Usama Mir at third man and Zadran was caught behind off Hassan Ali 13 runs short of a century, but Afghanistan showed resilience to maintain their momentum.

Rahmat hit five fours ands two sixes in his composed knock, as Afghanistan became the first chasing team in World Cup history to have their top three all make half-centuries.

He was ably supported by Hashmat, who hit 48 not out from 45 balls, in a third-wicket partnership worth 96 to see Afghanistan over the line.

More to follow.

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