Shaheen’s refusal to shake hands, Babar confronts Nabi

The second ODI between Pakistan and Afghanistan starkly contrasted with the series opener and went down the wire in Hambantota on Thursday

The second One Day International (ODI) of three-match series between Afghanistan and Pakistan went down the wire in Hambantota on Thursday. Naseem’s last-ball heroics reminded everyone of last year’s Asia Cup as he hit a four on the second-to-last ball of the game, propelling his team to a nail-biting one-wicket victory.

However, seems like players’ emotions were running high. During the post-match tradition of shaking hands, Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi refrained from shaking hands with the Afghan players.

As Shaheen walked back, skipper Babar Azam called him back affectionately and encouraged him to join the handshake. The gesture was indeed reflecting Babar’s efforts to ensure harmony irrespective of the frazzled encounter.

Nevertheless, the tension did not end with the handshake episode, as another episode unfolded when Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah approached Babar, seemingly with outrage.

Naseem complained to Babar, for which the reasons are unknown. However, shortly after, the skipper himself went to Afghanistan’s star all-rounder, Mohammad Nabi, and confronted him.

While the details of Naseem’s complaint and the subsequent exchange between Babar and Nabi remain unknown, it is speculated that a few controversial decisions, including Shadab Khan’s debatable run-out, which took place towards the end of the match, could be the reason behind Naseem’s complaint.

The second ODI between Pakistan and Afghanistan had a stark contrast with the series opener. Right-handed batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz emerged as the standout performer for Afghanistan as he played an impressive 151-run innings. The series will conclude with the final ODI scheduled on Friday in Colombo. After that, both teams will participate in the Asia Cup starting from August 30.

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