In a stunning turn of events, the Afghanistan cricket team achieved a milestone victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, defeating former champions Pakistan in a One Day International (ODI) match. This extraordinary win, marking Afghanistan’s first-ever ODI victory against Pakistan, ranks as the third major upset in the tournament. The Afghan squad clinched an emphatic victory with an impressive 8 wickets to spare. Their incredible journey in the World Cup has also seen them triumph over the defending champions, England. Furthermore, the Netherlands added to the list of surprises by securing an upset victory over South Africa.
Pakistan, having won the toss, chose to set a target while batting at the Chepauk ground in Chennai. Their innings produced a competitive total of 282 runs, with the loss of 7 wickets during the allotted 50 overs. Notably, Afghan bowler Noor Ahmed played a pivotal role, claiming 3 crucial wickets for his team.
In their pursuit of the target, Afghanistan displayed a magnificent batting performance, achieving victory with 8 wickets in hand and only one over to spare. Ibrahim Zadran emerged as the star of the Afghan innings, contributing a substantial 87 runs to the scoreboard. Notably, he initiated a remarkable opening partnership of 130 runs with Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Following Zadran’s departure at the 190-run mark, Rahmat Shah took the baton, forging a crucial partnership of 96 runs with captain Hashmatullah Shahidi. This significant victory over Pakistan has propelled Afghanistan to a notable position in the World Cup 2023, earning them 4 valuable points and placing them in the sixth position on the points table. In contrast, Pakistan, despite suffering their third defeat in five matches, currently occupies the fifth position. The team’s aspirations for a spot in the semi-finals have taken a significant blow, leaving them dependent on other teams’ performances, in addition to needing victories in their remaining four matches.
In a recent interview on the Dafa News Cricket Show, Zimbabwe national player and coach Tasmin Granger highlighted the remarkable achievement of Pakistan’s cricket team captain, Babar Azam. Granger noted that Babar Azam crossed the milestone of 5,500 ODI runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Afghanistan in Chennai, reaching this significant feat with his 8th run in the game. This accomplishment places Babar Azam among the elite, as he now stands as the 12th Pakistani batsman to achieve this remarkable milestone.
Granger commended Babar’s excellence in the ODI format, emphasizing his status as one of the most brilliant batsmen in the world.
Granger also acknowledged the historical significance of Afghanistan’s victory over Pakistan in an ODI match. He emphasized that the Afghan team has caused two major upsets in the ongoing World Cup, with their previous victory coming against the reigning champions, England.
Regarding this record-breaking victory, Granger stated, «Before the World Cup 2023, in the two World Cups in which Afghanistan played, there was only one victory, and that was against Scotland. Now, two World Cup champions have been defeated in 9 days. Pakistan had never before lost while defending a score of 275 or more in a World Cup – having won on each of the previous 15 occasions. Afghanistan’s remarkable journey in the World Cup 2023 continues to captivate the cricketing world and stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of international cricket, highlighting the increasing competitiveness of emerging cricketing nations.
Pakistan batting in the first Powerplay in CWC 2023:
43/3 vs NED, Hyderabad
48/2 vs SL, Hyderabad
49/1 vs IND, Ahmedabad
59/0 vs AUS, Bengaluru
56/0 vs AFG, Chennai*
Rare Feat: Team’s top 3 batsmen all score 50+ in successful ODI WC Chase
Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 65 (53)
Ibrahim Zadran – 87 (113)
Rahmat Shah – 77*(84)