Afghanistan Historic Victory: From Khost to Kandahar
In a match that will be remembered for years to come, Afghanistan cricket team secured a historic win over Pakistan, marking a significant milestone in their journey. Let’s dive into this remarkable story.
A Triumph Amongst the Hindukush Mountains
Screaming with jubilation from atop the Hindukush mountains to the shores of the Arabian Sea, Afghanistan announced to the world that 11 Afghan boys achieved what was once deemed impossible. Their journey from sorrows in Sharjah to horrors in Hambantota against the mighty Pakistanis has culminated in them becoming the champions of Chepauk. It’s a night etched in memory, echoing through the mountains, for a nation that has endured immense strife both on and off the cricket field.
The Great Equalizer: The Power of Sports
It’s moments like these that remind us why sports is such a great equalizer in our diverse and beautiful world. We had the pleasure of covering this unforgettable encounter, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Until next time, it’s goodbye from our team of Saurabh Shankar, Abhinand Raghavendran, Nikhil Jadhav, Pradeep Krishnamurthy, and Praveen.
Pakistan’s Troubling Streak
Pakistan, on the other hand, faced a third consecutive loss, leaving their semifinal hopes hanging by a thread. A multitude of factors contributed to their downfall. There was a lack of intent against Afghanistan’s spinners, failure to capitalize on top-order starts, mediocre fielding, and an inability to apply bowling pressure. Even Babar Azam’s captaincy came into question. However, let’s not forget to celebrate Afghanistan’s impressive victory tonight.
Hashmatullah Shahidi: A Taste of Victory
Hashmatullah Shahidi, one of Afghanistan’s heroes, shared his thoughts on the win. He praised the professional manner in which they chased the target and their belief in the quality cricket they’ve been playing for the past few years. Shahidi expressed his ambition to make this tournament historic for their country and expressed their determination to play positive cricket and contribute to their nation.
Babar Azam: A Bitter Defeat
Babar Azam, the captain of the Pakistan team, expressed the pain of this defeat. He acknowledged that their performance fell short in various departments, including bowling, fielding, and batting. Azam stressed the importance of excelling in every aspect in a World Cup and acknowledged Afghanistan’s all-around excellence.
Mohammad Nabi: A Long-Awaited Triumph
Mohammad Nabi conveyed the significance of this victory for Afghanistan, a moment they had been waiting for over a decade. He highlighted their hard work and determination, their ability to both defend and chase targets, and their exceptional performance in all three aspects of the game. Nabi also thanked the crowd for their support.
Player of the Match: Ibrahim Zadran
Ibrahim Zadran, the Player of the Match, discussed his approach to the game, emphasizing positive intent and good communication with his partner, Rahmanullah Gurbaz. He expressed his joy for himself and his country.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz: Ending the Drought
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who played a significant role in the victory, expressed their joy at defeating Pakistan for the first time. The opener thanked the crowd for their support as Afghanistan celebrated a historic win.
Stats Round-Up by Shashikant Singh
- STAT: This is Afghanistan’s first win against Pakistan in eight ODIs.
- Afghanistan’s ODI World Cup Wins:
- Beat Scotland by 1 wicket, Dunedin, 2015
- Beat England by 69 runs, Delhi, 2023
- Beat Pakistan by 8 wickets, Chennai, 2023*
- Highest Totals for Afghanistan in World Cups:
- 288 vs West Indies, Leeds, 2019
- 286 vs Pakistan, Chennai, today*
- 284 vs England, Delhi, 2023
- 272 vs India, Delhi, 2023
- Highest Target Chased by Afghanistan in ODIs:
- 283 vs PAK, Chennai, today*
- 274 vs UAE, ICCA Dubai, 2014
- 269 vs SL, Hambantota, 2023
- 268 vs SCO, Edinburgh, 2019
- Highest Target Chased vs Pakistan in World Cups:
- 283 by Afghanistan, Chennai, today*
- 274 by India, Centurion, 2003
- 267 by West Indies, Birmingham, 1975
- 243 by South Africa, Karachi, 1996
- Most Overs Bowled by Spinners in a WC Match:
- 60.0 – AFG vs PAK, Leeds, 2019
- 59.0 – IND vs IRE, Bengaluru, 2011
- 59.0 – AFG vs PAK, Chennai, today*
- 58.0 – IND vs BAN, Mirpur, 2011
- Spinners’ Bowling Today:
- Afghanistan: 38 overs, 176 runs, 4 wickets, ER 4.6
- Pakistan: 21 overs, 131 runs, 0 wickets, ER 6.2
- Most Runs for Afghanistan in ODI WC:
- 404 – Rahmat Shah
- 365 – Hashmatullah Shahidi
- 360 – Najibullah Zadran
- 328 – Samiullah Shinwari
- Pakistan While Defending 275+ Totals in WC:
- 13 – Won
- 1 – Lost – (vs AFG)
Afghanistan Triumph in Chennai
Chasing a challenging score, Afghanistan’s openers provided a strong start. They stitched a century partnership with both players reaching their respective fifties, leaving Pakistan struggling. Although Pakistan’s Shaheen broke the stand, Afghanistan remained composed. Captain Shahidi guided the team to victory with some assistance from poor deliveries by Pakistani spinners. Afghanistan outperformed Pakistan in all aspects of the game, securing their first-ever win in ODIs against their rivals.
Afghanistan’s journey from Khost to Kandahar and, ultimately, to Chennai will be etched in history as a testament to their perseverance and cricketing prowess.