In a landmark victory, Afghanistan secured their maiden One Day International (ODI) win against Pakistan at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The team successfully chased a formidable target of 283 runs, losing only two wickets in the process.
Breaking the Losing Streak
This resounding win marks the end of Afghanistan’s seven-match losing streak against Pakistan in ODIs, a pattern that began with their first face-off in 2012. The team has now notched up three victories in Cricket World Cups, including a notable win against England earlier in the tournament. However, this win against Pakistan, their long-standing ODI adversary, was hailed as “really special” by Gurbaz.
Expressing his joy post-victory, Gurbaz said, “So happy. Big win. That was really special, waiting for a long time for this game. Wow!” He further added, “Six-seven years we were waiting for this kind of game. Whenever we faced them, they always beat us. That was the first time that we beat them.”
In the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Afghanistan gave Pakistan a tough fight but lost in a nail-biting finish by three wickets with two balls to spare. The margin was even narrower in a recent tri-series where Pakistan clinched a one-wicket win off the penultimate delivery. However, in five other ODI matches, Afghanistan fell significantly short of their rivals.
The successful chase of the 283-run target is now the highest for Afghanistan in an ODI. It also stands as the equal-second highest in a Cricket World Cup with eight or more wickets in hand. The 21-year-old Gurbaz played a crucial role in this victory, scoring a quickfire 65 off 53 balls in a 130-run opening partnership with Ibrahim Zadran, setting the stage for the record chase.
Ibrahim Zadran (87) continued to steer Afghanistan closer to their target. Rahmat Shah (77*) and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (48*) then took over the reins to complete the chase.
With the Pakistan jinx finally broken and multiple wins secured in a Cricket World Cup for the first time, Afghanistan now sets its sights on a semi-final berth. Their campaign continues with the next match against Sri Lanka on 30 October.