WATCH: Shaheen Afridi’s two wickets on two balls

Pakistan are currently riding high in confidence emanating from their emphatic back-to-back wins which have launched them in the hunt for sealing a spot in the final four.

They now seek to build on the momentum heading into their important game against Afghanistan.

Afghanistan came into the World Cup with a lot of promise but everything seems to have fallen apart for them. They sit at the bottom of the table with an embarrassing record of seven straight losses and their defeats have been made more bitter due to controversies off the field.

Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first against Pakistan on Saturday in 36th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 being played at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, England.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – JUNE 29: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed tosses the coin during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Headingley on June 29, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Afghanistan’s start was not good as they lost three wickets on 57 runs. Two wickets were clinched by Shaheen Afridi whereas one batsman was sent back to pavilion by Imad Waseem.

Afghanistan suffered first blow when Shaheen Afridi dismissed Gulbadin Naib in the 5th over.
Shaheen Shah Afridi to Gulbadin Naib, OUT, big nick! Or is it?! Given not out with Gulbadin driving well away from his body. Sarfaraz calls for the review! Seemed completely obvious live that he edged that ball but Nigel Llong didn’t think so. Sarfaraz took an eternity to review overthinking things, i.e., was it so obvious that it wasn’t an edge after all? Of course it was! Ultra-edge shows a clear spike when ball passes bat. Umpire Llong changes his signal.

Gulbadin Naib c †Sarfaraz Ahmed b Shaheen Shah Afridi 15 (12b 3×4 0x6) SR: 125.00

Afghanistan suffered second blow on the very next ball as Shaheen Afridi dismissed Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Shaheen Shah Afridi to Hashmatullah Shahidi, OUThe’s on a hat-trick! What a whirlwind over! Not the best ball to be fair. Full and angling down leg, should have been ticked through fine leg for four but Hashmatullah is out in front of the ball and his attempt to play it through the leg side results in a leading edge that balloons over Shaheen towards mid-off. Imad jogs 10 yards left and takes it at waist height in stride.

Hashmatullah Shahidi c Imad Wasim b Shaheen Shah Afridi 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Afganistan suffered third blow in the 12th over when Imad Wasim dismissed Rahmat Shah.

Imad Wasim to Rahmat Shah, OUTleading edge goes to short cover. This was also bowled at 96kph, but Imad got it to grip and hold on the pitch. Also got it to turn gently. Rahmat thought there’s a straightforward single for the taking to midwicket, but found that he had brought his bat down too early, and the leading edge pops up for a simple catch

Rahmat Shah c Babar Azam b Imad Wasim 35 (43b 5×4 0x6) SR: 81.39

Pakistan looks to stay in the hunt of a semi-final spot as they take on Afghanistan today. Afghanistan haven’t batted first much in this tournament but, conditions-wise, this is a good chance for them today to secure a decent score.

They’ve never beaten Pakistan in ODIs though, losing all of their three previous meetings. However, they won a warm-up match against Pakistan.

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