I’ve just returned from a scorching Headingley where Pakistan’s senseless top order batsmen did their best to throw the match away but Afghanistan’s captain did instead!
To say that the atmosphere was vibrant would be an understatement… and that was just outside the ground!
Afghanistan ground their way to 227-9 and though Pakistan lost an early wicket they soon looked in command. Both Imam and Babar got out though when trying to force the pace even though the required rate was far less than a run-a-ball.
Needless run outs also contributed to Pakistan’s demise but Imad Wasim seized the initiative while Afghan skipper Gulbadin Naib conceded 18 in a torturous over before absurdly still bowling the final over. Though Hassan was injured and I’m not sure what happened to Rahmat who seemed set to come on at one point, any other bowler (Player even!) who bowled anything slower than Gulbadin would’ve been a more sensible choice.
It was the hottest day of the year but my three bottles of water and big hat helped me through. I still managed to get burnt and had to buy a t-shirt just to protect my legs!
The match went to the wire and for England and romantics out there, a Pakistan victory is disappointing but they scraped through in the end. Fair play!
This will take some coming back from for Afghanistan who also let victory slip away from them against India. It also leaves England likely needing to defeat both India and New Zealand to progress to the semi-finals.