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Pakistan Beat Afghanistan In Nerve-Shaking Game, keep World Cup Semi-Final Hopes Alive

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LEEDS (England)– In a nail-biting and nerve-shaking game, Pakistan beat Afghanistan by three wickets to win their second last group stage match of the Cricket World Cup 2019 and keep their hopes alive for the semi-final.

The unpredictable Pakistani batting order faltered once more, until all-rounder Imad Wasim came to the rescue, taking the team over the finishing line with an unbeaten 49 in the final over.

Minnows Afghanistan looked on course for their first victory of the tournament as Pakistan fell to 156-6 chasing a total of 228, but a much-needed four from Imad Wasim saw the 1992 champions over the line with two balls to spare.

The top batting order collapsed, leaving the game in the hands of lower middle order to decide the match fate to favour Pakistan.

Chasing 228 for victory, Pakistan fell to 81-3 and 156-6 as Afghanistan turned the screw and, with 48 needed from 36 balls, it looked out of Pakistan’s hands.

However, a disastrous 46th over by Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib went for 18 runs to put Pakistan back in control.

Despite Shadab Khan being run out with 22 runs needed for victory, Imad and Wahab Riaz held their nerve, with Wahab striking the first six of the innings to take the rate down to a run a ball.

In an astonishing finish, Imad drove Gulbadin to the boundary to reach an unbeaten 49, tie up victory and move his side ahead of England in the table.

It makes it more likely that England will need to beat both India on Sunday and New Zealand on Wednesday to reach the last four.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, are still winless – and just as they did against India, they have come tantalisingly close to a stunning victory.

World Cup group table
Rank Team P W L T NR RR Pts
Top four go through to semi-finals
1 Australia (Q) 7 6 1 0 0 0.906 12
2 India 6 5 0 0 1 1.16 11
3 New Zealand 7 5 1 0 1 1.028 11
4 Pakistan 8 4 3 0 1 -0.792 9
5 England 7 4 3 0 0 1.051 8
6 Bangladesh 7 3 3 0 1 -0.133 7
7 Sri Lanka 7 2 3 0 2 -1.186 6
8 South Africa 8 2 5 0 1 -0.08 5
9 West Indies 7 1 5 0 1 -0.32 3
10 Afghanistan 8 0 8 0 0 -1.418 0

 

SOURCE: AGENCIES