Haris heroics help Pakistan down Afghanistan in first ODI

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Haris heroics help Pakistan down Afghanistan in first ODI
Haris heroics help Pakistan down Afghanistan in first ODI

Web Desk

Haris Rauf claimed a five-wicket haul as Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 142 runs in the first ODI of the series in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 202 runs, Afghanistan were dismissed for only 59 runs in 19.2 overs. Afghanistan were bowled out for their second-lowest score in ODIs as Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the series. This was the first five-wicket haul for Haris Rauf in Pakistan colours, who claimed 5-18 in 6.2 overs.

Shaheen claimed two wickets in two balls in his second over to set the tone for Pakistan during Afghanistan’s batting. Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan bagged one wicket each. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the top run-scorer for Afghanistan with 18 runs.

Earlier, Shadab Khan stood solid for Pakistan after Imam-ul-Haq’s departure as the green shirts were all out for 201 in 47.1 overs. Afghanistan bowlers rattled Pakistan’s top order on a terrific spinning track. Fazalhaq Farooqui picked up Fakhar Zaman in his first over to immediately send Pakistan on the back foot.

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam, who is the number one ODI batter, fell to Mujeeb ur Rehman’s spinning delivery right in the next over for a duck. Mohammad Rizwan and Imam settled at the crease for a brief period of time but they both could only add 33 runs together. Mujeeb was the man who also bagged Rizwan (21) on an LBW which looked a bit doubtful and has raised questions on social media.

Iftikhar Ahmed, who usually has the finisher’s role in the team, this time had a responsibility to anchor the score. He did it so well alongside Imam who meanwhile also completed his 17th ODI half-century. They both scored 50 off 69 to somehow give Pakistan a breath of fresh air. However, the right-handed smasher got out after scoring 30 runs to Mohammad Nabi in the 27th over.

Rashid Khan and Nabi bagged two wickets each to contribute strongly to Afghanistan’s bowling. Imam alongside Shadab built-up his third partnership of the day. This time they scored 40 runs together before Imam lost his control against Nabi and gave a catch at mid-on which was well taken by Rashid. Imam, who survived on two back-to-back dropped catches previously, scored 61 off 94 balls.

Shadab then got himself the support of tailender Naseem Shah, who had ensured a nightmare for Afghans in last year’s T20 Asia Cup. Naseem hit two consecutive sixes on the last two match-deciding balls of Fazalhaq Farooqui to notch an unbelievable victory for Pakistan last year.

Naseem and Shadab stitched 34 runs off 47 balls before Shadab got run out. Rahmat Shah took the last wicket of Haris Rauf as Afghanistan bowled out Pakistan for the first time in ODI history.

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