Afghanistan go down fighting to Pakistan
Islamabad: A fighting Afghanistan lost to Pakistan`s second side by five wickets in their first confrontation, with officials hoping a three-match series can foster more foreign tours.
Afghanistan, who won the toss and decided to bat at Diamond Cricket ground, recovered through a fighting 72 by vice captain Mohammad Nabi, who helped his team recover from a precarious 94-8 to 152 all out in 37.3 overs.
Nabi added an invaluable 58 for the ninth wicket with Shapoor Zadran, who made four.
Captain Nawroz Mangal, with 33, was the only other batsman to reach double figures.
For Pakistan `A` pacemen Mohammad Talha (3-29), Sadaf Hussain (2-25) and Sohail Tanvir (2-33) shared the wickets.
Pakistan `A` were led by a brilliant 47 by opener Sharjeel Khan, but paceman Dawlat Zadran (3-45) briefly raised hopes of an Afghan win before Umar Amin (29) and Sarfraz Ahmed (21 not out) helped Pakistan reach the target in 39.5 overs.
The remaining two matches will be played in Rawalpindi (Friday) and Faisalabad (Sunday).
Afghanistan: 152 all out in 37.3 overs (Mohammad Nabi 72, Nawroz Mangal 33; Mohammad Talha 3-29)
Pakistan A: 153 for five in 39.5 (Sharjeel Khan 47; Dawlat Zadran 3-45).