Pakistan set 202 runs target for Afghanistan in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Hambantota, as the Green Shirts were bowled out for 201 runs in 47.1 overs.
On a dry and difficult pitch to bat on, Pakistan got off to a bad start as they lost two wickets for just seven runs. Fakhar Zaman was dismissed for 2 runs whereas skipper Babar Azam failed to score any run.
Muhammad Rizwan had 33 runs partnership with Imam-ul-Haq but he also got out after scoring 21 runs.
Agha Salman also failed to reach double figures and could add seven runs to the total, as Pakistan lost their fourth wicket for 62 runs.
Iftikhar Ahmed and Imam-ul-Haq saved Pakistan from batting collapse and had 50 runs partnership, which ended when Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed by Muhammad Nabi after scoring 61 runs.
Iftikhar Ahmed’s 30 and Shadab Khan’s 39 runs made sure that Pakistan were not bowled out under 200, and Naseem Shah added 18 valuable runs as Pakistan got a total of 201 runs on the board.
Afghanistan’s spinners took seven wickets, as Mujeeb-ur-Rehman got 3 wickets whereas Rashid Khan and Muhammad Nabi got two wickets each.
In the maiden One Day International (ODI) at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, encounter between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Green shirts won the toss and decided to take the batting initiative. This strategic move, orchestrated by Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam, is intended to apply pressure on Afghanistan by posting a substantial target.
Speaking at the toss, Babar Azam expressed his team’s intent to set a challenging total, aiming to put Afghanistan on the defensive from the outset. With his reputation as a formidable batsman, Babar’s statement underscores Pakistan’s determination to establish an early advantage in the series.
The Pakistani starting lineup boasts names like Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf. This formidable combination showcases Pakistan’s commitment to secure a victory in the inaugural match.
As the series unfolds, the second clash between these cricketing nations is slated for August 24, with the final showdown scheduled for August 26. These matches are anticipated to be fiercely contested, with both teams striving to make their mark.