Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the warm-up match between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
◙ Leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the middle of a terrific spell; just eight coming off his first three overs, and the wicket of Zazai. Good captaincy from Sarfaraz as well : slip and a leg-slip in place for the left-hander.
◙ A quiet passage of play. Shadab Khan and Hafeez trying to make further inroads into the Afghanistan batting, but Rehmat Shah and Shahidi are holding fort for the time being. Afghanistan 90/1 after 15 overs.
◙ GONE! Zazai has been caught in the deep thanks to a brilliant catch by Shoaib Malik. He departs for 49, and Afghanistan has lost its first wicket. It is 80/1 after 11.1 overs. Hashmatullah Shahidi is the new man in. Afghanistan needs 179 runs in 37 overs.
◙ Zazai is going after the bowlers. The southpaw collects 18 off one Riaz over. Afghanistan has raced to 78 off 10 overs. Meanwhile, Rehmat Shah has joined Zazai.
◙ Fifty up for Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai slaps one over the covers to get the fifty up for his team in 6.4 overs.
◙ Mohammad Shahzad is in pain as he is seen limping and the physio is on the field. The treatment is done and he is back on strike.
◙ Hazratullah Zazai has literally tore apart Shaheen Afridi as he smacks five boundaries in an over as Afghanistan races away in chase of 263.
◙ We are back for the chase and the Pakistan players are in a huddle. Out come the Afghanistan openers Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai. Mohammad Amir to start proceedings.
◙ Pakistan 262 all out: Babar Azam made a fine century but Afghanistan made a brilliant comeback at the death with Mohammad Nabi being the star bowler with three wickets. Nabi’s double blow left Pakistan struggling but Azam and Shoiab Malik forged a partnership that lifted Pakistan. A 290 plus score was on the cards but late flurry of wickets helped Afghanistan pull back things. We will be back for the chase shortly.
◙ WICKET – Babar Azam falls as he departs for a brilliant 112 off 108 deliveries. Dawlat Zadran provides an important breakthrough for Afghanistan. Pakistan 252/7 after 46 overs.
◙ 100 for Babar Azam – This has been a fine century and Pakistan will take a lot of heart from his performance. Timely knock and his form will be vital for Pakistan going into the mega event.
◙ WICKET – Brilliant glovework by Mohammad Shahzad as he packs off Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Rashid Khan draws the batsman forward, Sarfaraz couldn’t drag his backfoot back in time, loses balance and the keeper does the rest.
◙ WICKET – After getting his team past the 200-run mark, Shoaib Malik perishes while going for a big shot and is caught at the deep. Mohammad Nabi picks his third wicket.
◙ Babar Azam has entered into his nineties with a crisp cut shot as the partnership continues to grow.
◙ Afghanistan definitely need a breakthrough as both batsmen are now well-set and are scoring freely with Babar Azam being the aggressor.
◙ Fifty for Babar Azam – Excellent fifty from Babar Azam and this has been an innings of pure class. He has not only arrested the slide along with Shoaib Malik but also kept Rashid Khan at bay. He holds the key.
◙ Shoaib Malik is the new man in and Pakistan has a lot of work to do as Afghanistan spinners have left them reeling.
◙ WICKET – Rashid Khan strikes and this time the fielder at long-off doesn’t drop it as Rashid gets the prized wicket of Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan 100/4 in 20.1 overs.
◙ Drinks are on the field and the double blow by Mohammad Nabi has slowed down things for Pakistan. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez are at the crease.
◙ Excellent first over by Rashid as he gives just two runs and Afghanistan is making Pakistan work hard for runs.
◙ Star spinner Rashid Khan into the attack.
◙ WICKET– Nabi gets another one and Pakistan is in trouble. This time he castles Harris Sohail and the ball just clips the stumps, enough for the third umpire to give the batsman out. Pakistan 65/3 after 12 overs.
◙ WICKET– Mohammad Nabi strikes and he knocks out Fakhar Zaman with a gem of a delivery. Pakistan 62/2 after 11.3 overs. Nabi gives it enought flight, the ball angles in after pitching, Fakhar goes for an ambitious drive, misses it and the ball shatters his stumps.
◙ Frustration for Afghanistan as its fielders continue to drop catches. Mohammad Nabi almost had Fakhar Zama’s wicket but the fielder at long-on spills the catch as it rolls into the fence.
◙ Babar Azam is the new batsman in.
◙ WICKET – Afghanistan has its first wicket as Hamid Hassan castles Imam-ul-Haq. He was handed a life in the previous delivery but this time Hamid hits the timber. Imam departs for 32. Pakistan 47/1 in 8.3 overs.
◙ Mohammad Nabi into the attack. The Afghan bowlers are not giving anything easy as they bowling tight lines and almost had Imam’s wicket as he trapped by Dawlat Zadran. They went for the review after the umpire ruled it not out but it remained umpire’s call. Pakistan 42/0 after 8 overs.
◙ Excellent review by Fakhar Zaman and he survives. Afghanistan thought it had its first wicket but it was going down the leg. Mujeeb bowls a carrom ball, Fakhar plays down the wrong line, misses it and gets trapped. The umpire raises his finger but Fakhar went for the review straightaway. Pakistan 23/0 after 4 overs.
◙ Spin into the attack as Mujeeb Ur Rahman comes into the attack.
◙ FOUR – First runs on the board for Pakistan as Imam-Ul-Haq flicks it through the mid-wicket for a boundary. Pakistan 5/0 at the end of 1 Over.
◙ The umpires make their way to the middle and so does the Afghanistan team. While the Afghanistan team is in a huddle, Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. Dawlat Zadran to start the proceedings with the new ball. Here we go.
◙ “It’s a practice match and we need our batsmen to get some work in. Hopefully we will do well as a team. Bowling was not up to the mark in the England series and we will practice hard and do well,” Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
◙ “I would’ve liked to have batted first too. Pitch looks good, dry, should help spinners and we have world class spinners. It’s an honour to lead Afghanistan,” Gulbadin Naib.
◙ Toss: Pakistan has won the toss and elects to bat first.
◙ Pitch Report: Michael Clarke reckons playing the new ball will be the key but terms the pitch as a batting paradise. Even Wasim Akram, alongside Clarke opines that it will be a good batting track. Toss coming up.
Here is the complete schedule of ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up matches.
May 24: Pakistan vs Afghanistan – County Ground, Bristol, Sri Lanka vs South Africa – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
May 25: England vs Australia – The Rose Bowl, Southampton, India vs New Zealand – Kennington Oval, London
May 26: South Africa vs West Indies – County Ground, Bristol, Pakistan vs Bangladesh – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
May 27: England vs Afghanistan – Kennington Oval, London, Australia vs Sri Lanka – The Rose Bowl, Southampton
May 28: New Zealand vs West Indies – County Ground, Bristol, India vs Bangladesh – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
As we wait for the toss, dig into our in-depth coverage to stay abreast with the latest happenings in the lead up to the tournament.
◙ Four years ago, two-time World Cup winner Steve Waugh had predicted a bright future for a young fast bowler. Today, the teenager is a vital cog in the Pakistan bowling wheel. This is Mohammad Hasnain’s story | Pakistan’s 150kph teen sensation
◙ The decision to remove Asghar Afghan as the skipper of Afghanistan, a month before the World Cup, had drawn flak from top cricketers of the country. Shayan Acharya has more| Ahmadzai: Asghar will not give us the World Cup
◙ Inzamam-ul-Haq says it would have been “foolish” to have omitted Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir from Pakistan’s Cricket World Cup squad after a “lack of potency” shown in the series defeat to England| Omitting Wahab and Amir would have been foolish: Inzamam
◙ Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi feels that bowling has always been the team’s strength and the return of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir has given it the much needed balance| Shahid Afridi wants no excuse from balanced Pakistan unit in WC
Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hasnain.