In Match 22 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Afghanistan delivered an impressive performance, securing a prodigious eight-wicket victory over Pakistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday, October 23. The Afghans displayed utter dominance over the Green Team in every facet of the game.
Afghanistan’s cricketing brilliance is on full display
In the thrilling encounter, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat, posting a competitive total of 282/7 in their 50 overs. Abdullah Shafique (58) and skipper Babar Azam (74) were the standout performers with the bat, while Shadab Khan (40) and Iftikhar Ahmed (40) provided valuable late-innings contributions. Afghan bowling, led by Noor Ahmad (3/49), put in an impressive display to restrict Pakistan.
In response, Afghanistan’s opening duo of Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) and Ibrahim Zadran (87) set the stage with a 130-run partnership. Rahmat Shah (77 not out) and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (48 not out) ensured their side’s victory with an unbeaten 96-run stand, chasing down the target with an over to spare.
Babar Azam issues critical remarks on Pakistan’s performance
After the match, Babar provided insights into different aspects of the game and elaborated on the factors that led to his team’s third consecutive defeat in the ongoing tournament. Babar expressed his disappointment, stating that the team’s inability to take wickets during the middle overs in bowling and conceding boundaries in the field had cost them the match.
“This hurts us. We had a good total. In the bowling, we aren’t up to the mark because we are not taking wickets in the middle overs. In the World Cup, if you are not good in even one department, then you’ll lose the match. In the field, we didn’t stop boundaries and gave away runs, which cost us. Bowling – we started well, in the middle overs, we needed wickets but we couldn’t take any wickets,” Babar said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Babar acknowledged Afghanistan’s performance
Babar further acknowledged Afghanistan’s comprehensive performance across all aspects of the game and stressed the need for improvement in Pakistan’s bowling and fielding. The 29-year-old noted the issue of not hitting the right lengths, especially with their spinners, which failed to build pressure on the opposing batters.