Haris Rauf’s fifer helps Pakistan rout Afghanistan in first ODI

Fiery pacer Haris Rauf led a pace assault on Afghanistan with a career-best five-wicket haul to give Pakistan a thumping 142-run victory in the first one-day international in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota on Tuesday.

Rauf’s shattering 5-18 in 6.2 overs forced Afghanistan to their second-lowest ODI totals of 59 in a staggering 19.2 overs after Pakistan were bowled out for 201 in 47.1 overs.

The victory gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series — the first bilateral between the two nations — with the remaining matches in Colombo on Thursday and Saturday.

Rauf carried on the demolition act after fellow fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi had removed Ibrahim Zadran (nought) and Rahmat Shah (nought) off successive deliveries in the third over.

It had become 3-4 when Naseem Shah dismissed Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi, also without scoring, before passing the baton to Rauf to complete the rout.Rauf grabbed wickets of Ikram Alikhil (four), top scorer Rahmanullah Gurbaz (18), Mohammad Nabi (seven), Rashid Khan (nought) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (four) to complete the rout.

Rauf’s previous best of 4-65 was against England at Birmingham in 2021.

Shaheen finished with 2-9.

Afghanistan’s lowest in all ODIs is 58 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah in 2016.

Earlier Rahman was Pakistan’s wrecker-in-chief.

The 22-year-old dismissed world number one batter Babar Azam for a third-ball duck to finish with figures of 3-33, while Nabi took 2-34 and Rashid 2-42.

Only opener Imam-ul-Haq with a 94-ball 61, Shadab Khan (39) and Iftikhar Ahmed (30) offered some resistance as Pakistan’s much-vaunted batting failed on a slow Hambantota stadium pitch.

Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman off the fourth ball of the match for two before Rahman dismissed Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (21) in his first spell.

Haq steadied the innings with a fifth wicket stand of 50 with Ahmed and another 40 with Shadab before Nabi dismissed Haq and Ahmed in quick succession.

Haq’s 17th half century had only two boundaries.

Ace spinner Rashid chipped in with the wickets of Agha Salman (seven) and Shaheen Shah Afridi for two.

Shadab, who hit three boundaries in his 50-ball knock, added an invaluable 35-run stand with Naseem (18 not out) for the ninth wicket before the latter was run out.

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