Hambantota: The second match of the three-match series between Pakistan and Afghanistan was played in Hambantota. Afghanistan, having won the toss, batted first and scored 300 runs while losing 5 wickets. In pursuit of the 301-run target, Pakistan managed to defeat Afghanistan by just one wicket after a nail-biting encounter. Opener Imam-ul-Haq played a splendid inning of 91 runs, while Captain Babar Azam contributed 53 runs.
Pakistan achieved the target of 301 runs with the help of a brilliant batting performance by Naseem Shah, who scored a crucial 10 runs off 5 balls with 2 boundaries. Fakhar Zaman scored 30, Iftikhar Ahmed 17, and Salman Ali Agha added 14 runs to the total, while Shadab Khan’s 48 runs played a crucial role in Pakistan’s thrilling victory.
On the Afghan side, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz played a magnificent inning of 151 runs, while opening partner Ibrahim Zadran contributed 80 runs. Muhammad Nabi scored 29, Rashid Khan 2, and Shahidullah Kamal was out for 1 run, while Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 15 and Abdul Rahman added 4 runs before being dismissed.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi took 2 wickets, while Naseem Shah and Usama Mir each claimed one wicket, with one player run out.
Before the toss, Afghanistan’s Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi had stated that they would try to set a modest target of 260 runs in mind and then enter the field with a plan to take wickets. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the Afghan opening batsman played a marvellous inning, scoring 151 runs, helping his team reach a total of 300 runs.
In the previous match, Pakistan had defeated the opposing team by a margin of 142 runs, with Haris Rauf being the hero of the first One-Day, taking 5 wickets while conceding just 18 runs.
The next and final match of the series will be played tomorrow, Saturday.