All-rounder Imad Wasim’s unbeaten 49 guided Pakistan to a thrilling three-wicket victory over minnows Afghanistan in Leeds on Saturday, maintaining their hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals.
Chasing a target of 228, Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman for a duck on the second ball of the innings when he was trapped leg-before by off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Babar Azam, who scored his maiden World Cup century in Pakistan’s win over New Zealand earlier this week, combined with Imamul Haq to stabilise the innings with a steady 72-run partnership.
Off-spinner Mohammad Nabi removed the pair to expose the middle order, before Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail fell cheaply to leave Pakistan reeling at 142-5. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (18) and Shadab Khan (11) were run-out to set up an intense finale but Wasim and Wahab Riaz (15) ensured there were no further hiccups as they chased down the target with two balls to spare.
Pakistan now need to win their final match against Bangladesh on Friday and hope other results go their way to advance to the semi-finals.
Earlier, Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi claimed four wickets to restrict Afghanistan to a modest 227 for nine from 50 overs on a flat batting track at Headingley.
Here’s how Cricket World Reacts on Pakistan’s Win:
Dear Pakistan, can you please put a limit on your unpredictability? For your supporters’ sake.?#PAKVAFG
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) June 29, 2019
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) June 29, 2019
So Pakistan breathe again. Back from the brink as only they can to fight another day. Being a Pakistan fan is like being in a Hindi movie; you experience every emotion.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 29, 2019
Phew….Thrill-A-Minute Pakistan dodges a bullet. A serious one. Imad Wasim…you beauty. But more importantly, Pakistan’s Wild-Card entry—Wahab Riaz keeps the dream intact with a broken finger. Take a bow ?♂️ #CWC19 #PakvAfg
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 29, 2019
Heart still beating as fast as i’ve just bowled a 100 mph over.
In the end, barely managed to cross the line. Imad took responsibility & won it in the end, Shaheen going strong.
One step closer.
We need to continue supporting Afghanistan cricket as Pakistanis.#PAKvsAFG #CWC19
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 29, 2019
I think it would be wise if they show a disclaimer before any Pakistan match from now on, advising viewers that watching the following telecast could have serious affects on your health, because that was a #HeartStopper #CWC19 #PAKvAFG #Rollercoaster ???
— Shaniera Akram (@iamShaniera) June 29, 2019
Pakistan winning it the Pakistani way ?? https://t.co/3TkkHDJLA7
— Sana Mir ثناء میر (@mir_sana05) June 29, 2019