Pakistan lost their first match by 12 runs © AFP
Pakistan lost their first match by 12 runs © AFP

 

Feb 27, 2014

 

It would be a trial by fire for Afghanistan when the gutsy team from the strife-torn country makes its Asia Cup debut by taking on defending champions Pakistan on Thursday. Mohammad Nabi‘s Afghanistan came into the Asia Cup after it qualified for the 50-over ICC World Cup 2015 scheduled next year.

 

Pakistan would have to quickly shake off the disappointment of losing their tournament-opener against Sri Lanka. The temperamental side was done in by speedster Lasith Malinga’s brilliant five-wicket haul under pressure and opener Lahiru Thirimanne’s second One-Day International (ODI) century as it lost by 12 runs while chasing 297 last night.

 

Barring Umar Akmal (73) and skipper Misbah-ul Haq (74), none of the Pakistani batsman managed to produce innings of substance as the team crumbled despite having a fair shot at victory.

 

Whatever the end result, Afghanistan are expected to put their best foot forward on the field, making them exciting prospects at the regional mega-event.

 

Teams:

 

Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan

 

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Asghar Stanikzai, Noor Ali, Navroze Mangal, Najibbullah Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Hamza Hotak, Samiullah Shenwari.

 

Catch Live score and ball-by-ball commentary of Afghanistan vs Pakistan match here.