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.
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.
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