Haris Rauf’s five-for helps Pakistan crush Afghanistan

A steady fifty from Imam-ul-Haq followed by a fiery fifer from Haris Rauf led Pakistan to a massive 142-run win over Afghanistan to take 1-0 lead in the three match ODI series in Hambantota.

Pakistan won the toss and Babar Azam opted to bat first. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi ripped Pakistan’s top order as three out of top four batters fell inside eight overs, Fakhar Zaman was dismissed for 2 while Babar Azam got out for a duck. Mohammad Rizwan was trapped lbw by Mujeeb for 21. While Agha Salman fell after his short stay as Rashid Khan dismissed him to leave Pakistan reeling at 62/4 in 17th over.

Imam and Iftikhar Ahmed resurrected the innings with a crucial 50-run stand before Mohammad Nabi provided the breakthrough by trapping Iftikhar after his steady 30. Imam kept the scoreboard ticking with his 17th half-century before Nabi broke another good going partnership with Shadab.

A handy 39 from Shadab helped Pakistan post a decent total of 201. Notably, Afghans bowled out Pakistan for the first time in ODIs. For Afghanistan, Mujeeb picked three wickets while Nabi and Rashid Khan ended their spell with two wickets each.

In response to 201, Afghanistan succumbed in front of Pakistan’s pace attack. Both Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi ran through their top-order to leave them 4/3. Three out of their top four were being dismissed for duck. After 7 overs, it was all about Rauf as he registered his best spell of 5/18 to dismantle Afghanistan for 59 runs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz top-scored for Afghans with a 47-ball 18.