The 2nd ODI between Afghanistan and Pakistan was an absolute thriller, filled with ups and downs for both teams. While Afghanistan exhibited a formidable batting display, it was Pakistan's tenacity at the finish that secured them a hard-fought victory and an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
Afghanistan vs Pakistan 2nd ODI 2023 Highlights
Cricket • 28 Aug, 2023 • 1,911 Views
By: Anand Swami
Afghanistan’s Batting Prowess
Afghanistan's innings were powered by Rahmanullah Gurbaz's stellar knock of 151 off just 151 balls. After a disappointing total of 59 in the first ODI, Afghanistan showcased their batting prowess by putting up a score of 300 in 20 overs. Still, their performance suggested they fell short of a more dominant position by about 20 runs.
Pakistan's Pace Attack
In the first ODI, Pakistan's pace attack, featuring the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf, was nothing short of menacing. Haris Rauf's record-breaking 5/18 set the tone for Pakistan’s massive 142-run victory. However, in the second ODI, their potency seemed somewhat diminished, even though they managed to pick wickets.
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Babar Azam, Pakistan's skipper, drew parallels with a World Cup game and emphasized the importance of patience. He applauded Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan and highlighted Naseem Shah's knack for finishing games. Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan's captain, expressed his disappointment, especially given they were in control for most of the match.
Shadab Khan's Match-Winning Performance
Shadab Khan was awarded 'Player of the Match' for his pivotal role in the chase. He exhibited brilliant batting adapted to the conditions. His past experiences seemed to influence his current decisions, ensuring he didn't repeat previous mistakes. His commitment to adaptability and growth was evident throughout his innings.
The Mankading Controversy
The match wasn't without controversy. Shadab Khan's 'Mankading' became a turning point in the game, reigniting the age-old debate on the 'spirit of the game'. While this incident was legal according to ICC rules, it sparked discussions due to the critical juncture at which it occurred. Such moments underscore the need for clarity and consensus regarding the game's unwritten codes.
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The Thrilling Climax
Naseem Shah emerged as Pakistan's hero in the last over, especially with his crucial boundaries. The tension was palpable, with Afghanistan on the verge of victory. However, it was the visitors who kept their composure, with Pakistan sealing the game by just one wicket with a ball to spare. The outcome underscored the unpredictability of cricket, where fortunes can shift within mere deliveries.
The 2nd ODI was the epitome of a nail-biter, with both teams showcasing cricketing brilliance at various stages. While Afghanistan might be heartbroken given their significant improvement from the first game, Pakistan's knack for pulling off wins in tight situations was evident. As both teams gear up for their final encounter, the momentum surely lies with Pakistan.
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