Babar Azam after Pakistan’s loss against Afghanistan in Cricket World Cup 2023© X (formerly Twitter)
Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis was extremely critical of the Babar Azam-led side following their shock defeat against Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup 2023 on Monday. Pakistan were completely outplayed by Afghanistan with fans and experts slamming their disappointing fielding effort. Following the match, Waqar said that Pakistan played ‘rubbish cricket’ against Afghanistan and slammed their multiple mistakes while fielding. “Let’s not talk about Pakistan cricket. They played rubbish cricket. Afghanistan played some superb cricket,” Waqar said on Star Sports.
Afghanistan put on a superb batting and bowling display to hand Pakistan a stunning eight-wicket defeat in the Cricket World Cup 2023.
Chasing a 283-run target, Afghanistan were lifted by Ibrahim Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77 not out) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) as they scored 286-2 in 49 overs.
Pakistan had made 282-7 in their 50 overs with 74 from skipper Babar Azam and 58 from opener Abdullah Shafique but the total did not prove tough enough for a clinical Afghanistan.
Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi, with a 45-ball 48 not out, hit the winning boundary as Afghanistan improved upon their highest ODI chase of 274 against the UAE in Dubai in 2014.
The win is Afghanistan’s first-ever over Pakistan in eight ODIs and came eight days after their shock victory over defending champions England in Delhi.
“This win tastes nice,” said Shahidi. “The way we chased was very professional and the way we did that will help us going into our other games now.
“We are playing quality cricket. We have always had belief and at the start of the tournament I told my team I wanted to make it a historic one for our country and our people. We did that against England and now today against Pakistan.”
The defeat leaves Pakistan’s World Cup campaign in disarray with three defeats in five games and a formidable South Africa to face at the same venue on Friday.
In contrast, Afghanistan’s campaign is slightly revived with two wins in five matches and struggling Sri Lanka as their next opponents in Pune on Sunday.
“That really hurt us. We got a good total. Our bowling is not up to the mark,” Babar said.
(With AFP inputs)
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