Afghanistan finally won an ODI against Pakistan on Monday in Chennai, following seven consecutive losses. Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi stated that this victory was greater than the one against England earlier in the tournament, despite Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, who scored the winning run, saying the victory “tastes sweet”.
It tastes good to win this. “We pursued in a very professional manner,” Shahidi remarked during the post-match awards ceremony. “The belief was there when we played in the Asia Cup as well, and we have been playing terrific cricket for the past several years. I declared at the beginning of the competition that we wanted to make it historic for the citizens of our nation. Pakistan is playing today after England, and I’m looking forward to the remaining games.
Nabi was ecstatic to defeat Pakistan in the format at last. “It’s a big moment for the whole team, but also whole Afghanistan as well,” he stated. “For the past ten to twelve years, we have been waiting. We have squared off against Pakistan in about eight games, with one victory in a major tournament.
Afghanistan leads their strongest pursuit to ultimately defeat Pakistan.
“The lads’ accomplishment is significant. Over the last three months, we have put in a lot of effort at work. After playing an Asia Cup match against Pakistan, we traveled to this World Cup. This is a very beautiful moment. We have also defeated England and now Pakistan. The group now exudes confidence. The team is also aware that it is both defendable and chaseable if we score on a surface like this, which is roughly 280–290.
“I believe that we are the favorites to win against Pakistan because we have lost games to them in the closing seconds in the past. The manner in which Ibrahim [Zadran] and Rahmanullah [Gurbaz] initiated the game was excellent. Rahmat Shah and the captain formed a wonderful partnership as a result of that momentum.
“The first game we play against them is in 2014 .” After that, there were other close games in the Asia Cup, the 2015 World Cup (in which they did not face each other), the 2019 World Cup, the T20 World Cup, and the Asia Cup. And this is an amazing time right now.”
Pakistan managed to post 282 in Chennai thanks to half-centuries from Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam, but an opening partnership of 130 runs between Gurbaz and Ibrahim set the stage for Afghanistan’s chase, which Rahmat and Shahidi smoothly concluded.
Ibrahim established significant partnerships with Gurbaz and Rahmat during the chase, earning him the title of Player of the Match. The adjudicators saw that as better than Noor Ahmad’s 3 for 49, which included wickets from Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, and Babar Azam.
“I’m grateful for my performance in such a significant event,” Ibrahim remarked following the game. “I would say I wanted to play with a positive intent, with a positive mindset, so that’s why I did it.”
He acknowledged that Afghanistan has benefited from strong beginnings at the bat thus far in the World Cup due to his longstanding playing relationship with Gurbaz; this was the pair’s fourth partnership of more than 100 matches, all of which began in 2023.
“Many times Gurbaz and me, we have done a brilliant partnership together,” he stated. “A few occasions, not [just] today. Together, we have played a great deal of cricket since our Under-16 days. While batting, we communicate well with one another.”