Shaheen Afridi scalped a four-wicket haul before all-rounder Imad Wasim displayed a heroic batting performance to help Pakistan survive a scare against Afghanistan with a three-wicket win and keep their semi-final hopes alive at the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday.
Put in to bowl first at the Headingley Carnegie in Leeds, Shaheen was the tormentor-in-chief for Pakistan with his terrific figures of four for 47 while Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz also took two wickets each as Afghanistan were restricted to a score of 227 for nine in their stipulated 50 overs.
Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran were the top scorers for Afghanistan with 42 runs each.
In reply, opener Imam-ul-Haq (36) and first drop Babar Azam (45) forged a solid partnership for the second wicket before the Afghanistan bowlers fought back to reduce Pakistan to 206 for seven.
However, Imad Wasim struck a crucial 54-ball 49 to take the game away from the Gulbadin Naib-led side and guide his side to win with two balls to spare. For Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took two wickets each while Rashid Khan contributed with just a wicket.
Here are some of the statistical highlights from the match:
# Shaheen Afridi bagged brilliant figures of four for 47 after Pakistan was asked by Afghanistan to bowl first. At the age of 19 years and 84 days, the Pakistan bowler became the first teenager to bag a four-wicket haul in the ICC World Cup. Earlier, Scotland's John Blain was youngest to claim a four-fer in the World Cup at the age of 20 years during a match against Bangladesh in the 1999 edition.
# Meanwhile, it also became the fourth time that Shaheen has picked up a four-wicket haul in the One-Day International (ODI) format of the game.
# Afghanistan posted a score of 227 for nine after opting to bat first. It was the highest total put in by the Gulbadin Naib-led side after batting first in the ongoing 2019 edition of the ICC World Cup.
# The last-over win over Afghanistan saw Pakistan dethrone hosts England from the fourth spot in the points table. The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side now have four wins from eight matches.
# Afghanistan, on the other hand, slumped to their eighth consecutive defeat and a second narrow defeat to a regional rival. The Naib-led side had earlier also suffered an 11-run loss at the hands of two-time winners India.
Afghanistan will now face West Indies on July 4 while Pakistan will lock horns with Bangladesh a day later in their last group stage clash of the ongoing mega event.