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Babar’s ton in vain as Afghanistan stun Pakistan


May 25, 2019

BRISTOL: Pakistan’s batting, which appeared to have improved in the limited-overs series against England recently, failed against one of the weakest sides of the forthcoming World Cup here on Friday.

The men in green were bundled out for 262 in the 48th over in their first warm-up game. The total proved too little to defend, although skipper Sarfraz Ahmed used four of the five pacers in the touring party. Afghanistan reached the target with two balls and three wickets in hand. Hazratullah Zazai scorched Pakistan with a 28-ball 49 in the first Powerplay. From that point on, the asking rate was always in their control, and in Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan had a batsman with the temperament to see his side through, finishing unbeaten on 74.

Pakistan looked out of sorts almost from the first delivery. The partnership between Fakhar Zaman (19) and Imam-ul-Haq (32) at the top only lasted because of Afghanistan’s generosity in the field. The two were reprieved at least four times — three dropped catches and a missed stumping chance.

When Hamid Hassan finally bowled Imam in the ninth over, it heralded a regular supply of wickets to the bowling side. Mohammad Nabi got rid of Zaman and Haris Sohail (1) in the 12th over with beautifully flighted offspin.

Mohammad Hafeez, coming at No 5, managed only 12 before he was dismissed by leg-spinner Rashid Khan. Shoaib Malik (44) and Babar Azam added 103 runs for the fifth wicket. The former got out after scoring 44 off 59 balls, having hit four fours and a six.

Babar carried on his excellent form with another graceful century, scoring 112 off 108 balls. His innings included 10 fours and two sixes. Babar brought up his fifty from 51 balls, before reaching his century from 99.

In the frantic scramble for a big finish, Pakistan failed to bat out the 50 overs. Afghanistan began well and even after Mohammad Shahzad (23) retired hurt because of what looked like a cramp, Hazratullah Zazai continued to take the Pakistan pacers to task.

Shadab finally produced the breakthrough when he had Zazai caught by Malik at deep midwicket. Rehmat Shah (32) and Samiullah Shenwari (22) kept Shahidi company, but the last three-quarters of the innings were all about the left-hander who scored seven fours in his 102-ball knock.

Wahab Riaz and Imad Wasim were the successful bowlers for Pakistan, taking three and two wickets, respectively. While Wahab gave away 46 in his 7.4 fours, Imad was economical, allowing only 29 runs in his 10 overs. —with inputs from agencies

Pakistan won toss


Imam-ul-Haq b Hamid 32

Fakhar Zaman b Nabi 19

Babar Azam c Rahmat b Dawlat 112

Haris Sohail b Nabi 1

Mohammad Hafeez c Rahmat b Rashid 12

Shoaib Malik c Najibullah b Nabi 44

*†Sarfraz Ahmed st Shahzad b Rashid 13

Imad Wasim run out 18

Hasan Ali c Rahmat b Aftab 6

Shadab Khan c Samiullah b Dawlat 1

Wahab Riaz not out 1

Extras (lb 2, w 1) 3

Total (all out, 47.5 overs) 262

Did not bat: Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Asif Ali

Fall: 1-47, 2-63, 3-65, 4-100, 5-203, 6-220, 7-246, 8-253, 9-259, 10-262

Bowling: Dawlat 5.5-0-37-2; Mujeeb 6-0-39-0; Nabi 10-0-46-3; Hamid 6-0-31-1; Rashid 9-1-27-2; Naib 5-0-33-0; Aftab 6-0-47-1


†Mohammad Shahzad retired hurt 23

Hazratullah Zazai c Malik b Shadab 49

Rahmat Shah c Sarfraz b Wahab 32

Hashmatullah Shahidi not out 74

Samiullah Shinwari c Shadab b Imad 22

Asghar Afghan b Imad 7

Mohammad Nabi c Sarfraz b Hasnain 34

*Gulbadin Naib b Wahab 2

Najibullah Zadran lbw b Wahab 1

Rashid Khan not out 5

Extras (nb 2, w 12) 14

Total (7 wickets, 49.4 overs) 263

Did not bat: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Dawlat Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran

Fall: 1-80, 2-119, 3-168, 4-178, 5-244, 6-247, 7-249

Bowling: Amir 6-0-27-0; Shaheen 6-0-51-0; Wahab 7.4-0-46-3; Hafeez 4-0-12-0; Shadab 10-0-64-1; Hasnain 6-0-34-1; Imad 10-0-29-2

Result: Afghanistan won by 3 wickets

Umpires: Rod Tucker (Australia) and Michael Gough (England). TV Umpire: Ian Gould (England). Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)