Pakistan’s poor run in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup got even worse as Afghanistan shrugged them off like dust in Match No. 22 in Chennai on Monday, October 23. Pakistan’s toothless bowling had no clue how to stop the Afghan batters who timed a rather tricky chase of 283 runs brilliantly to notch up their second win of the competition in a span of a week. Despite getting lifted to a score of 282 runs, scoring 61 runs in the last five overs, Pakistan let Afghanistan chase down the score almost without any challenge.
The wickets have dried up for Shaheen Afridi in the powerplay. Haris Rauf hasn’t been able to pick wickets while Hasan Ali has been average with none of them looking threatening enough to take wickets in clumps. And less said about the spin attack the better as none of Shadab Khan, Usama Mir or Mohammad Nawaz have looked like an international quality spinner as let alone taking a wicket, it seems implausible for them to stopping the run flow.
A campaign that started with much promise with two wins, is now on the brink of getting ended pretty early into the tournament with a third loss in a row against India, Australia and now Afghanistan. Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Michael Vaughan and Gautam Gambhir among others took to X (formerly Twitter) to share their views on the game and congratulate Afghanistan for probably their biggest win in ODI cricket, first against Pakistan ever in the format.
Here are some of the reactions:
Skipper Babar Azam came back to form with a 74-run knock and how the likes of Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed gave the finishing touch must give a lot of confidence to Pakistan. But what is it of any use if the bowlers aren’t able to defend a score like that as it didn’t look like an upset. Afghanistan steamrolled Pakistan as they bossed the chase, getting through to the finish line rather easily and quickly.