In a historic upset at the 2023 Cricket World Cup, Afghanistan secured a remarkable victory over Pakistan, winning by eight wickets.
This marked the first time Afghanistan had won two games in a single edition of the tournament. Their previous notable win had been against England just eight days earlier, and their only other World Cup victory was in 2015 against Scotland during their inaugural appearance.
The key to Afghanistan’s triumph turned into an aggressive starting partnership that amassed one hundred thirty runs, with Ibrahim Zadran scoring 87 and Rahmanullah Gurbaz contributing 65 runs. This dynamic duo set the level for Afghanistan’s total score of 286-2 in 49 overs, correctly countering Pakistan’s pace and spin bowling.
Rahmat Shah and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi continued the momentum with an unbroken 96-run partnership for the third wicket. Shah finished with an unbeaten 77, while Shahidi scored 48 not out, clinching the victory with a boundary against Shaheen Afridi at square leg.
On the other side, Pakistan, who won the toss and chose to bat, managed to put up a total of 282-7. They had to contend with Afghanistan’s spin-heavy bowling quartet. Captain Babar Azam led the way with 74 runs, and Abdullah Shafique contributed 58 runs, both achieving half-centuries.
This match was particularly significant as it marked Pakistan’s first-ever loss in a one-day international (ODI) against Afghanistan. It also surpassed Afghanistan’s previous highest successful ODI chase of 274, which had been against the United Arab Emirates nine years ago.
Despite losing to New Zealand, Afghanistan will be brimming with confidence after beating defending champions England by 69 runs.
Pakistan, meanwhile, are in deep trouble after losing back-to-back matches against India and Australia.