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Plucky Afghanistan stun Pakistan in ICC World Cup warm-up

Chasing a modest 263 for victory, Afghanistan`s openers Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai got them off to a blistering start before Shahidi helped them cross the mark in the final over.

Plucky Afghanistan stun Pakistan in ICC World Cup warm-up
Image Courtesy: Twitter/@ICC

Afghanistan`s Hashmatullah Shahidi hit an unbeaten 74 as the World Cup underdogs stunned former champions Pakistan to win by three wickets with two balls to spare in a thrilling warm-up match in Bristol on Friday.

Chasing a modest 263 for victory, Afghanistan`s opening batsmen Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai got them off to a blistering start before Shahidi took charge to help them cross the finish line in the final over.

"It`s a great victory for the people of Afghanistan," skipper Gulbadin Naib said. "If you look at Pakistan, it`s one of the best sides. You can`t take anyone easily. At the World Cup anything can happen, so we will do our best."

Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, who shone in their 4-0 series defeat by England this month, continued his excellent form with the bat ahead of the World Cup by scoring 112 off 108 balls but his team were restricted to a below-par 262 in 47.5 overs.

Afghanistan spinners Mohammad Nabi (3-46) and Rashid Khan (2-27) then choked the Pakistan batsmen to lay the foundation for a famous win while pacer Dawlat Zadran claimed two wickets, including that of the dangerous Azam.

"Not enough runs on the board. (We were) 15-20 runs short and we didn`t start well with the ball, that`s why we lost," Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed said.

"It`s very tough if we`re losing matches. I tell my boys to back themselves... we`ll do well soon. Our batsmen are in good nick... but we need to work on our bowling."

Zazai attacked the Pakistan bowlers after opening partner Shahzad retired hurt on 23 with a left knee problem. The 21-year-old smashed eight fours and two sixes in his 28-ball 49 before being caught at mid-wicket off Shadab Khan`s bowling.

Shahidi then anchored the innings to perfection with a patient knock that included seven boundaries to secure a famous victory.