Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava & Jayanta Oinam
Fatullah: Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 72 runs in the 3rd match of 2014 Asia Cup played at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah, Bangladesh.
Over 47.2 || Score 176/10
Pakistan didn't have to wait for too long, for the remaining two batsmen to be dismissed, as Mohammad Hafeez added two more wickets to his spell and guided Pakistan to a comprehensive 72-run win. Hafeez ended up with figures of 29/3 in 9.2 overs. Afghanistan were too defensive in their approach which probably cost them the game. The match will be remembered for Umar Akmal's stupendous ton, and he seems to be in sublime form at the moment.
Samiullah Shenwari b Mohammad Hafeez 14 (20b)
Shapoor Zadran c Saeed Ajmal b Mohammad Hafeez 1 (7b)
Over 40 || Score 153/5
As expected, Afghanistan have lost several wickets as the required run-rate soared. Pakistani bowlers, who had dried the runs, finally picked wickets as well as Afghanistan lost three wickets in the last ten overs. Afghanistan lost wickets of two set batsmen off consecutive balls when first Asghar Stanikzai was dismissed by Shahid Afridi, and Nawroz Mangal was run out one ball later. These two batsmen had played 148 balls and managed to score just 75 runs which could prove to be decisive. Afghanistan now need 96 runs to win off the last ten overs.
Najibullah Zadran b Mohammad Hafeez 1 (6b)
Nawroz Mangal run out 35 (57b)
Asghar Stanikzai c Mohammad Hafeez b Shahid Afridi 40 (91b)
Over 30 || Score 103/2
While the Pakistani bowlers have failed at picking wickets in quick successions, they have for sure made it an uphill task for the Afghanistani batsmen who haven't managed to free their arms. Nawroz Mangal and Asghar Stanikzai have spent enough time at the wicket and it's high time they change gears, if Afghanistan entertain any chances of giving a fight to Pakistan.
Over 20|| Score 66/2
Saeed Ajmal struck in his first over as he scalped the wickets of set batsman Noor Ali Zadran, who was trapped in front of the wicket. The run scoring has been pretty slow for Afghanistan, as they managed to score just 24 runs in the last ten overs.
Noor Ali Zadran lbw b Saeed Ajmal 44 (63b)
Over 10 || Score 42/1
Afghanistan have made a decent start to their chase as they have added Pakistan got their first breakthrough when Mohammad Shahzad edged one off Umar Gul to Umar Akmal. Mohammad Shahzad has played a flurry of good strokes and Pakistan would want to get rid of him as soon as possible.
Mohammad Shahzad c Umar Akmal b Umar Gul 9 (12b)
Over 50 || Score 248/8
Umar Akmal clobbered the penultimate ball of the innings over long on to complete a magnificent century! The last over of the innings yielded 18 runs and Akmal has given the Pakistani bowlers a respectable total to defend. Earlier Afghanistan broke the 60-run stand between Umar Akmal and Anwar Ali, when the latter was brilliantly caught by Nawroz Mangal who ran backwards and took an excellent catch behind extra cover.
Umar Akmal 102* (89b) Saeed Ajmal 1* (1b)
Umar Gul b Dawlat Zadran 15 (12b)
Anwar Ali c Nawroz Mangal b Mirwais Ashraf 21 (36b)
Over 40 || Score 164/6
Umar Akmal and Anwari Ali have steadied the ship for Pakistan after the middle-order collapse. These two have added 45 runs in the last ten overs and Afghanistan would be eager to break this partnership after all the hard work they have done so far. Akmal is playing another sensible innings, after he scored 74 runs against Sri Lanka in the previous match.
Umar Akmal 39* (47b) Anwar Ali 18* (30b)
Over 30 || Score 119/6
Pakistan are on their way of another collapse. Afghanistan are right back in the match after picking four wickets in the last ten overs.
Samiullah Shenwari struck in his first over when he dismissed Ahmed Shehzad, who was looking all set to play a big knock. Pakistan lost the wicket of their skipper off the next ball, as he was run-out! Sohaib Maqsood and Shahid Afridi too didn't trouble the scorers much and Umar Akmal is the only hope for Pakistan at the moment.
Shahid Afridi b Dawlat Zadran 6 (11b)
Sohaib Maqsood c Asghar Stanikzai b Samiullah Shenwari 13 (25b)
Misbah-ul-Haq run out 0 (0b)
Ahmed Shehzad b Samiullah Shenwari 50 (74b)
Over 20 || Score 80/2
Hafeez out, in the 19.5 over
It has been an indifferent display from the Pakistani batsmen. Both the wickets were result of poor, mindless stroke-play.
This time, Mohammad Hafeez, trying to slog a good length delivery ended up offering an easy catch to Nabi, from a leading edge.
Mohammad Hafeez c Mohammad Nabi b Mirwais Ashraf 10 (16b)
Over 15 || Score 61/1
In the last five overs, Afghanistan have taken one wicket, conceding 21 runs. All in all, it's been a superb session for the minnows, applying pressure from both ends to keep Pakistani batsmen in check.
In his first over, Hamza Hotak provided the break-through, albeit from a loose delivery. Sharjeel Khan, trying to launch the loose delivery, but failed to connect properly and thus ended offering a catch at deep midwicket.
Sharjeel Khan c Noor Ali Zadran b Hamza Hotak 25 (37b)
After Sharjeel's wicket, Mohammad Hafeez arrived in the center to give company to Ahmed Shehzad.
Over 10 || Score 39/0
Pakistan openers finally started to open up. In the eighth over, Ahmed Shehzad hit Dawlat Zadran for three boundaries and suddenly, the run rate jumped to over four an over.
It will be only a matter of time, rather overs for the gifted Pakistan openers to start leather hunt.
And with that, Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi has introduced himself in the ninth over, conceding only two runs in his first essay.
Over 5 || Score 14/0
It has been a rather quite start from the Pakistani openers - Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan, on 7 runs each with one boundary each after the end of first five overs.
For Afghanistan, both Shapoor Zadran and Sharjeel Khan are bowling a tight line with a lively pace to keep. Zadran has in fact bowled a maiden over, a rare feat nowadays in ODIs.
Impressive start from the Associate team against one of the big boys.
Here are the teams:
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi (capt.), Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Hamza Hotak, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran
Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt.), Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan
Afghanistan captain, Mohammad Nabi has won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first.
Fatullah: It`s one of those proverbial David vs Goliath matches. However, making their debut in the continental tournament, Associate team – Afghanistan would look to exploit instability in the Pakistan ranks and score some brownie points.
In the tournament opener, despite a stable all-round performance, the Pakistani outfit failed to win the match against a Lasith Malinga inspired Sri Lanka. So, this will be the perfect setting for the star-studded Pakistan team to register a big win and start their campaign.
If the defending champions, somehow, fail to win today, it will almost knock them out of the reckoning as other two big teams – India and Sri Lanka, would not give easy avenues to the minnows.