#WasimAkram, #Pakistan, #Afghanistan, #CricketWorldCup2023, #PAKvAFG
IBNS: Former Pakistan cricket great Wasim Akram has blasted the national team after they suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of Afghanistan by eight wickets in the Cricket World Cup 2023 in Chennai on Monday.
Speaking to A Sports, Akram said, “It was embarrassing today. Chasing 280-290 losing only two wickets was a big thing for them (Afghanistan) irrespective of the pitch. Look at the fitness level (of Pakistan). We have been screaming about the fact that no fitness test was conducted for the last two years.
“If we take the names of individuals, their faces will drop. Looks like they are eating 8 kilos of mutton everyday.”
Replying to Pakistan’s 282 for 7, which was largely made due to half centuries by two batters and a late burst in the final five overs- after a steady start and a mild wobble in the middle–the Afghanistan batters, were never under any pressure, and crossed over the finishing line with consummate ease, finishing at 286 for two with six balls to spare.
Afghans got a rousing start with openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz dominating the experienced and solid Pakistan attack with a fiery 53-ball 65 (9×4, 1×6) and man of the match Ibrahim Zadran (87, 113 balls, 10×4) adding 130 for the first wicket in 21.1 overs.
After Ibrahim fell, the chase was consolidated by Rahmat Shah (77, 84 balls, 5×4, 2×6) and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (48 not ou8t, 45 balls, 4×4), who handled his spinners in a judicious manner earlier, and fittingly hit the winning boundary, as Afghanistan overhauled the huge total with an over to spare.
This was the second win for Afghanistan after their stunning and upset win over England earlier in the league phase, which is expected to boost their confidence in the remaining encounters to entertain any chances of making it to the last four.
This was Pakistan’s first loss (third in succession in this edition) against its neighbours in eight meetings as neither of their spinners or their famed pace battery led by left armer Shaheen Shah Afridi, literally made no impact on the Afghan batsmen, who made merry with a controlled run chase.
The victory marked a massive day in Afghanistan cricket as they beat Pakistan for the first time, and on the way romped to their highest successful chase in ODIs.