ICC Cricket World Cup, 2023 |Match 30 |10/30/2023 Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
Right then, we witnessed an exciting chase here in Pune where Afghanistan has come out to be the more dominant team. Their campaign gets better and better with every match and we might just see them qualify for the semi-finals of this tournament. We have another exciting match on Tuesday, the 31st of October at the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata where Pakistan will go up against Bangladesh. The game will begin at 2 pm IST (8.30 am GMT) but our build-up will begin much sooner. Do join us then. Until then, take care and goodbye!
Hashmatullah Shahidi, the skipper of Afghanistan starts by saying that he is very happy and proud of the team as they performed well in all three departments. Adds that the win over Pakistan gave them a lot of confidence to chase down any target and the way they started with the ball was excellent and it was a professional performance. Mentions that all the coaching staff and managing staff push them hard and rally them on and especially Jonathan Trott gave them a lot of confidence in the last game. On his knock, adds that he is the captain and he has to play his role well and is happy to have done that. On Rashid Khan playing his 100th ODI, he says that Rashid Khan is a special player and he brings joy to the team as well. Ends by thanking the people of Afghanistan for their support and applauds the Indian crowd as well for backing them throughout.
Sri Lanka's skipper Kusal Mendis says they were short of runs in the first innings and that 280 to 300 would have been a competitive score to put on the board. He adds that in the second innings, the bowlers bowled really well, especially in the first 10 overs, but after that, the dew started forming and it became tougher to bowl. He also adds that later in the match the pitch started to favour the Afghanistan batters as the ball came on to the bat much better. Ends by saying that Dilshan Madushanka has bowled well in recent times and he is young and learning day by day.
Fazalhaq Farooqi is the Player of the Match for his sensational spell of bowling. He starts by thanking the almighty and says that it is pretty good to get three wins in the tournament and it feels good to contribute to the win. Adds that he was looking for the swing but he didn't get that and hence got away from attacking the stumps and just looked to bowl in good areas. Mentions that they have struggled in the past in the death overs and he tried to use the variations and worked on the death overs in the off days.
The Presentation ceremony…
Earlier in the game we saw Pathum Nissanka give a strong start to the Lankan innings followed by some solid knocks from Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama but no batter could play a big innings and Sri Lanka leap-frogged to the 240-run mark. It was Fazalhaq Farooqi who impressed everyone with his bowling performance as he clinched four wickets for 34 runs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan weaved their spin magic and troubled the batters taking a wicket each along with one wicket from Azmatullah Omarzai. Afghanistan was the dominant team from the first innings itself with their strong bowling performance.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, will have a win to rejoice as an amazing performance by the batters has kept them alive in this tournament. It is a story of success for the Afghans from the last ODI World Cup where they were placed last on the table to this one where they have a chance to finish in the top 4. After an early setback with Rahmanullah Gurbaz getting dismissed pretty early it seemed a very difficult chase for the batters. Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah took things into their own hands and built a steady partnership and stabilized the innings. Afterwards, the skipper played a captain's knock as he kept the runs coming and didn't allow his team to face the pressure. In the end, Hashmatullah Shahidi along with a pumped-up Azmatullah Omarzai finished the innings in just over 45 overs and helped the team secure another victory. Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai all contributed with the bat, scoring half-centuries but not to take credit from Ibrahim Zadran who played a steady innings under pressure. It was an all-round performance from the Afghans and they will take home a lot of confidence for their next match to come.
Sri Lanka had to defend a meager score of 241 to clinch another win. Dilshan Madushanka gave them a very important breakthrough in the first over itself and put them on the strong foot but after that, the game started slipping out of their hands. They failed to bowl to their strength and allowed the Afghan batters to get used to the pitch and build strong partnerships. It was Dilshan Madushanka again providing them with another wicket and breaking the partnership as he dismissed Ibrahim Zadran. Kasun Rajitha got his first wicket in this match by dismissing Rahmat Shah but not after the latter had done the damage. After that none of the bowlers managed to take wickets and a lack of invention hurt them. Afghanistan managed to chase down the target in just over 45 overs and has put Sri Lanka in a tough spot and almost spoiled their chance to qualify in the top 4.
It was an amazing run-chase here in Pune. Afghanistan have powered their way to their third win and have registered back-to-back wins in any World Cup for the first time by beating the Lankans. Some very strong partnerships and sensible game style have helped the Afghans have a chance to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the semi-finals. The Lankan bowlers tried hard but were short of taking a few wickets. One dropped chance and some poor bowling didn’t go in their favor either. It was a day for the pacers as they proved strong on this surface. Overall, it was a good display of cricket from both the sides but Afghanistan were simply the better team.
Dushmantha Chameera to Azmatullah Omarzai, DROPPED AND THAT IS IT! Afghanistan get their third win of the campaign and keep hopes alive of a semi-final berth. This is pitched up on middle and leg, attacking the toes, Azmatullah Omarzai clears the front leg and looks to end proceedings with a bang as he heaves it away toward mid-wicket. The connection isn't great and the ball goes straight to Charith Asalanka at the fence and he spills it. The batters cross for a single and Afghanistan win by 7 wickets!
Dushmantha Chameera to Hashmatullah Shahidi, Scores are level! Full and outside off, driven square on the off side through the point region for a single by Hashmatullah Shahidi.
END OF OVER 45 | 8 Runs & 0 Wkt | AFG 240/3
Kasun Rajitha to Hashmatullah Shahidi, 2000 ODI runs for Hashmatullah Shahidi and the skipper is on the verge of guiding his team to yet another historical win. Good length in the channel, tapped away in front of covers for a single.
Kasun Rajitha to Azmatullah Omarzai, Another short ball, this time from around the wicket and angled across off. Azmatullah Omarzai keeps the pull shot down to mid-wicket and collects a single. This is Omarzai's highest score now in ODI cricket.
Kasun Rajitha to Azmatullah Omarzai, FOUR! Just one hit away now! Banged in short again over middle, Azmatullah Omarzai is waiting for it and pulls it like a tennis forehand smash toward cow corner and picks up another boundary.
Kasun Rajitha to Hashmatullah Shahidi, Slightly back of a length around off and angling in. Hashmatullah Shahidi has a slight shuffle across and tucks it away past square leg for one more.
Kasun Rajitha to Azmatullah Omarzai, On a shortish length, wide of off, Azmatullah Omarzai hits it on the up and through the cover region for a single.
Kasun Rajitha to Azmatullah Omarzai, On a hard length outside off, played away toward cover.
END OF OVER 44 | 9 Runs & 0 Wkt | AFG 232/3
Dushmantha Chameera to Hashmatullah Shahidi, Angled in from wider of the crease and on a hard length around off. Hashmatullah Shahidi hops back and drops it onto the deck.
Dushmantha Chameera to Hashmatullah Shahidi, Full on middle, angled in from around the stumps, Hashmatullah Shahidi clips it straight to mid-wicket.
Dushmantha Chameera to Azmatullah Omarzai, Keeps it short and bowls it at the hips, Azmatullah Omarzai tucks it away down to fine leg for a single. Just 10 runs needed now for Afghanistan.
Dushmantha Chameera to Azmatullah Omarzai, FOUR! Clubbed away for four more! Banged in short over middle and leg, Azmatullah Omarzai rides the bounce well and forces the pull shot aerially well in front of square on the leg side and finds the vacant mid-wicket fence.
Dushmantha Chameera to Azmatullah Omarzai, Omarzai looked to dispatch that onto the moon! Fuller in length and angling in from around middle, Omarzai has a wild slog across the line but only gets an inside edge into the pads.
Dushmantha Chameera to Azmatullah Omarzai, EDGED AND FOUR! Hits the deck hard and keeps the line tight on off stump, generating some extra bounce off the deck as well. Azmatullah Omarzai stays leg side and looks to open the face of the bat but edges it past the keeper and into the third man fence for another boundary.