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Pakistan kept their hopes of making it to the top-four in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 alive beating Afghanistan by three wickets at Headingley. A happy campaigner, Sarfaraz Ahmed hailed his boys for putting up a great effort and securing a thrilling win.
It is an excellent win for us: Sarfaraz
Batting first, Afghanistan managed to post 227 runs with contributions from Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran. Both of them chipped in with 42 runs each to take the total cross 200-run mark. Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan returning with four wickets while Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz chipped in two each.
During the chase, Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz combined well in the death over to keep their hopes alive in the tournament. The Afghanistan spinners were once again of top-class to contain the Pakistan batters well. Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, and Rashid Khan did their job brilliantly before a moment of mistake from Gulbadin Naib took the game away from Afghanistan. Imad Wasim remained unbeaten on 49 runs while Wahab Riaz contributed with useful 15 runs to clinch the thriller with three balls to spare.
Speaking at the end of the game, Sarfaraz Ahmed hailed his whole team for putting out a brilliant effort. He also praised Imad and Babar for playing well and handling pressure on a tough Headingley wicket. It was a complete team effort from the Pakistan team to keep their hopes alive in the World Cup.
“It is a great win for us. Not an easy pitch to bat on, but credit goes to Imad – the way he batted, the way he handled pressure, hats off to him. We knew it was not an easy chase, their bowlers used the conditions very well. Babar and Imam played very well, we needed a partnership in the middle that didn’t happen, but we got it in the end. A full team effort,” Sarfaraz said.
Furthermore, Sarfaraz Ahmed also heaped praise on young Shaheen Afridi who has been in outstanding form in the World Cup. The left-arm pacer was equally exceptional with the new and the old ball which earned his compliment from all quarters.
“Shaheen Afridi is improving day by day, he’s working very hard. The other bowlers also bowled really well,” he concluded.