The first warmup match of the ICC World Cup 2019 between Afghanistan and Pakistan saw the Afghan team register a three-wicket win after what was a disappointing performance from Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men.
After having won the toss, Ahmed decided to have a go with the bat and the duo of Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman gave them a steady start. But with 47 runs on the board, Imam fell in the 9th over and Zaman followed him three overs and 15 runs later.
Pakistan set 263 runs target for Afghanistan in their first warm-up match of ICC World Cup 2019 at County Ground, Bristol.
Pakistan made 262 runs all out with 14 balls to spare after captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat first against Afghanistan.
Babar Azam was the top scorer with 112 runs off 108 balls while Shoaib Malik scored 44.
Wickets of Haris Sohail and experienced campaigner Mohammad Hafeez with only 100 runs on the board would have made the Pakistan captain regret his decision. Babar Azam (112) and Shoaib Malik (44), however, stuck in with the former getting a hundred to help his side cross the 200-run mark.
The Pakistani lower order failed to withstand the might of Afghanistan bowling and they were bowled out for 262. Mohammad Nabi (3 wickets) and Rashid Khan (2 wickets) were once again the heroes with the ball.
With 263 to chase, the opening duo of Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai gave Afghanistan an explosive start. And even though the wicketkeeper-batsman had to retire hurt, Hazaratullah continued his good work and struck a 28-ball-49 before giving away his wicket with 80 runs on the board in the 12th over.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (74) and Nabi (34) played sensible knocks to ensure Afghanistan cross the line without much of a fuss. And though the match finished in the last over, there was never a doubt that the Afghans will fail to breach Pakistan’s 262-run mark.
Every team is due to play two warm-up matches before the World Cup begins on May 30.
Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Khan, Hashmatullah Shahidi
Imam ul Haq, Fakhar zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Asif Ali