ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Warm-Up Day 1 – Afghanistan Beats Pakistan; South Africa Thrashes Sri Lanka
On the day one of the pre-World Cup warm-up games (24th May), Afghanistan beat Pakistan in a thrilling final-over contest. In another match, South Africa clinched a comfortable victory against Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan won by three wickets in the final over
Pakistan and Afghanistan met at Bristol where Afghanistan beat Pakistan by three wickets (with two ball to spare). After deciding to bat first, Pakistan managed to score 262 runs before getting all out (47.5 overs).
The no.3 Pakistan batsman Babar Azam scored a brilliant century of 112 runs off 108 balls (10 fours and 2 sixes). Apart from him, only the opener Imam-ul-Haq (32 runs) and the experienced no.6 batsman Shoaib Malik (44 runs) reached the 20-run mark.
Among the Afghanistan bowlers, off-spinner Mohammad Nabi (3/46) picked up three wickets. Meanwhile, Dawlat Zadran (2/37) and Rashid Khan (2/27) claimed two wickets each while Hamid Hasan (1/31) and Aftab Alam (1/47) took one wicket each.
In reply, Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad retired-hurt on 23 runs after feeling some issues in his left knee. Meanwhile, the other opener Hazratullah Zazai just missed his firing half-century as he scored 49 runs off just 28 balls. The no.3 batsman Rahmat Shah also scored 32 runs in that chasing.
However, the no.4 batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi played the most crucial innings in that incredible victory. With the help of seven fours, Shahidi scored an unbeaten 74 runs off 102 balls and guided his team to the victory.
Pakistan bowlers fought very well in the second half, but they just failed to snatch a victory. Afghanistan was once batting on 168/2, and they were heading to a comfortable victory. However, since then, Afghanistan lost their next wickets at regular intervals and gradually came under pressure. Finally, in 49.4 overs, Afghanistan reached the target after losing seven wickets (263/7).
In that second innings, the left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz (3/46) picked up three wickets. Among the other bowlers, while Imad Wasim (2/29) bagged two wickets, Shadab Khan (1/64) and Mohammad Hasnain (1/34) took one wicket each.
South Africa won by 87 runs
On the other hand, South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs at Cardiff. Though Sri Lankan players showed some fighting characters, they ultimately failed.
During the first innings, South African opener Hashim Amla and the no.3 batsman Faf du Plessis provided a brilliant 128-run partnership for the second wicket that settled them to looking for the big total. Amla scored 65 runs off 61 balls, while the captain Faf played a great innings of 88 runs off just 69 balls. Rassie van der Dussen also played a good knock of 40 runs off 41 balls.
In the middle of the innings, South Africa lost their wickets at regular intervals. However, the middle-order batsmen played some crucial cameos that helped South Africa to manage 338/7 (50 overs). JP Duminy scored 22 runs, and Andile Phehlukwayo scored 35 runs. Meanwhile, Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris remained not out on 25 (23 balls) and 26 runs (13 balls) respectively.
Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, only Suranga Lakmal (2/63) and Nuwan Pradeep (2/77) claimed more than one wicket.
In reply, Sri Lanka was struggling on 10/2 in the early period. Opener Kusal Perera scored a duck and the no.3 batsman Lahiru Thirimanne scored just 10 runs.
The next batsman Kusal Mendis scored a crucial 37 runs. However, the other opener and captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews built up that innings with a solid 98-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Skipper Karunaratne scored 87 runs off 92 balls, and Mathews scored 64 runs off 66 balls.
But when that partnership was broken, Sri Lankan players failed to build up any other solid partnership. Finally, Sri Lanka was bundled out for just 251 runs in 42.3 overs.
In that innings, Andile Phehlukwayo picked up four wickets (4/36) and Lungi Ngidi (2/12) took two wickets.
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