It was a cricket match that had all the makings of a blockbuster. In a breathtaking display of skills and strategy, Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by a single wicket in the second ODI. The game reached its climax in the last over, with a controversial ‘Mankad’ dismissal adding fuel to the already blazing fire.
Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first. Openers Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran put on an exceptional performance, racking up a 200-run partnership. Gurbaz, in particular, stood out, amassing 151 runs at a strike rate of 100. Ultimately, Afghanistan set an imposing target of 300 runs, anchored by Gurbaz’s brilliant century and Ibrahim Zadran’s solid 80.
Pakistan started their chase on a promising note. A 50-run opening partnership laid the groundwork, followed by a robust 120-run stand for the second wicket. However, the game took a turn as Pakistan went from 176 for 2 to a precarious 211 for 6. That’s when Shadab Khan entered the fray. His blistering 48 off 35 balls kept Pakistan in the game, needing 11 runs off the final over.
Afghan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi took charge of the last over, facing Naseem Shah on strike and Shadab at the non-striker’s end. As Farooqi ran up to bowl, he noticed Shadab stepping out of the crease. With impeccable game awareness, Farooqi ran him out at the non-striker’s end. This moment, a ‘Mankad’ in cricket parlance, generated both applause and criticism. Nonetheless, it showcased Farooqi’s sharp instinct, leading to the crucial dismissal of a dangerous batter.
A Last-Over Thriller: Pakistan Edges Past Afghanistan Amid Controversy of Mankad of Shadab Khan
Shadab walked back, shaking his head in disbelief but the drama didn’t end there. Naseem Shah, now in the spotlight, pulled off a last-ball boundary to the third-man region. This miraculous shot not only won Pakistan the match but also the series, with an unassailable 2-0 lead. Despite a commendable effort from the Afghan bowlers, including Farooqi’s three-wicket haul, Afghanistan fell short of sealing their first ODI win against Pakistan.
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Looking ahead, the teams are gearing up for the third and final ODI on 26th August. Afghanistan will undoubtedly come out swinging, seeking a maiden win against their formidable opponents. Pakistan, meanwhile, will aim for a clean sweep, hoping to cement their dominance before the upcoming Asia Cup 2023.
This match was a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with moments of brilliance, strategic plays, and a splash of controversy. It will surely go down in history as one of the most thrilling ODIs ever, setting the stage for an electrifying final encounter in this series.