BRISTOL: Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by three wickets in a first warm-up thriller match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Following the early collapsed the middle order batsman Babar Azam hit brilliant hundred to help Pakistan to set 263-run target for Pakistan on Friday at Bristol in the first practice match.
Afghanistan chasing the target started off the innings well as openers added 80 runs as Hazratullah Zazai was the first one to get out. He was sent to pavilion by spinner Shadab Khan
The Afghans were 244/5 when fast bowler Wahab Riaz came in to attack at the death overs and produced an almost match-winning spell. He picked up two wickets in the 47th over of the match but it was Hashmatullah Shahidi, who played a match-winning inning and guided his team to victory.
Imad Wasim also picked up two wickets in his allotted 10 overs with an economy rate of 2.90. Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir picked up one wicket each.
Despite a good start, Pakistan lost four early wickets just on 100, however, at the stage, Babar Azam took the Afghan bowlers and played strokes all around the ground.
Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik joined hands and both added 103 runs for the fifth wicket that consolidated Pakistan innings.
Shoaib Malik returned to the pavilion after posting 44 with four fours and a mighty six.
Babaz Azam posted another century and showed his continue form by hitting 112 runs on 108 balls that were envisaged with only two fours.
Top class Afghanistan bowler Muhammad Nabi took three while Rashid Khan and Dawlat Zadran got two each.