Pakistan secured a thrilling victory against Afghanistan in a nail-biting encounter, winning by just one wicket with one ball to spare. With this win, Pakistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODI series held in Hambantota on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 301 runs, Pakistan managed to narrowly avoid defeat, maintaining their undefeated ODI record against Afghanistan. This victory marked their sixth consecutive win against the hosts.
The final moments of the match were incredibly tense. Pakistan required 11 runs off the last over, with Shadab Khan, who was batting phenomenally at 48*, on strike and two wickets in hand. However, Fazalhaq Farooqi of Afghanistan executed a crucial run-out on his first ball, catching Shadab Khan out of his crease before delivering the ball. Video replays confirmed the run-out, leaving Pakistan with six runs to win from three balls.
As the pressure mounted, a misfield in the deep allowed Pakistan to score three crucial runs. With just three runs needed off the last two balls and only one wicket remaining, Naseem Shah managed to guide the ball over the short third man for the winning runs, securing an extraordinary victory for Pakistan.
Afghanistan’s batting performance was commendable but ultimately in vain. Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s remarkable innings of 151 and Ibrahim Zadran’s elegant 80 had propelled Afghanistan to a total of 300 for 5, a significant improvement from their previous performance of being bowled out for 59 runs in the opening ODI. Despite their exceptional efforts, Afghanistan couldn’t secure their first-ever victory over Pakistan in this format.