Coming with 10 straight losses in ODI cricket, fans expected Pakistan to win their first warm-up game against Afghanistan and build some confidence. However, green shirts were defeated by the 10th ranked ODI team.
Winning the toss, Pakistan batted first where an ordinary batting outing was rescued by Babar Azam’s century which lifted Pakistan to 262. Afghanistan, putting a strong reply, chased the target while experiencing jitters towards the later part of the innings.
Pakistan’s pace battery once again looked listless as Afghan batters feasted on them. However, the comeback man Wahab Riaz proved to be the major bowling positive in an otherwise gloomy day for the boys in green. The 33-year old delivered a decent first spell where he was striving to get back in rhythm.
However, the second spell was awe-inspiring as the veteran cricketer used reverse swing to great effect to bamboozle Afghanistan’s batting as he picked 3 wickets for 46 from his 7.3 overs. Beating the outer part of the blade, time and again, the Lahore born portrayed his class and nailed his yorkers – a department where Pakistan was found struggling against England. While the loss against Afghanistan was an embarrassing happening, Pakistan can take all the hard lessons to comeback strongly in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 tournament.