Pakistan beat Afghanistan by three wickets in a tense encounter to leap-frog England in the race for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.
Afghanistan won the toss at Headingly, and chose to bat first. However, they were soon in trouble, when Shaheen Afridi struck twice in successive balls, removing Gulbadin Naib who was caught behind, and then Hashmatullah Shahidi, out first ball off a leading edge. Rahmat Shah and Ikram Ali Khil tried to rebuild the innings, but then Rahmat fell for 35, hitting a delivery from Imad Wasim straight to Babar Azam at mid-wicket. Khil and Asghar Afghan looked to press on, and the pair added 64 for the fourth wicket, but then both were guilty of playing poor shots First to go was Afghan, attempting a big shot, only to miss the ball completely and allowing himself to be bowled by Shadab Khan for 42. Then Khil followed at the end of the net over, smashing Imad straight to long-on, departing for 24.
Mohammad Nabi and Najbullah Zadran then shared a stand of 42, but their partnership was broken when Nabi was caught at fine leg off Wahab Riaz for 16. Najbullah and Samiullah Shenwari then combined, adding 35, but Najbullah was the next man to fall, bowled for 42 by Shaheen. In his next over Shaheen had Rashid Khan caught by Fakhar Zaman, and then Wahab bowled Hamid Hassan. Shenwari and last man Mujeeb ur-Rahman managed to add a further 8, but Afghanistan will have been disappointed by their final total of 227 – 9, with Shenwari unbeaten on 19.
In response, Pakistan got off to a poor start, losing Fakhar Zaman lbw to the second ball of their innings. However, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam calmed the nerves with a stand of 72, until ul-Haq was stumped off the bowling of Nabi for 36. In his next over, Nabi struck again, bowling Babar for 45.
Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail added 40, but Hafeez then threw his wicket away, turning a ball from Mujeeb straight to Hashmatullah at extra cover when he had scored 19. Haris and his captain Sarfaraz Ahmed put on 21, but then Haris, who had made 18, was lbw to Rashid Khan. Sarfaraz and Wasnm looked to put their side in control but then Sarfaraz made a mistake, going for a second run that was never on the cards, and he was run out for 18.
Fortunately for Pakistan Wasim was on hand to playa match winning innings. First he and Shadab Khan shared a stand of 50, and then, when Shadab fell for 11, run out by Gulbadin, he combined with Wadab to see his side home with to balls to spare. He was undefeated on 49, whilst Wasim finished 15 not out at the end of another close match.