Afghanistan showed early hunger by recording a three-wicket win against Pakistan in their warm-up fixture on Friday.
It was an entertaining Friday of warm-up fixtures. Afghanistan took on Pakistan in Bristol, while South Africa battled Sri Lanka in Cardiff.
The surprise result took place at the County Ground, where Pakistan lost despite a century from Babar Azam, whose consistency has carried over from the series against England.
Pakistan posted 263-7 in their 50 overs, a sub-par total considering the expectations that 300-plus totals would be the order of the day in the UK.
Afghanistan’s star bowlers, Rashid Khan (2-37) and Mohammad Nabi (3-46), were the key bowlers for their side as expected.
The chase, for this tournament’s Dark Horses, was tight. Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 74 and Hazratullah Zazai’s 49 were integral to their side’s victory. The massive shock was that Pakistan’s heavily lauded bowling attack could not defend their total, and they lost by three wickets.
Elsewhere, the Proteas took on Sri Lanka, and the expected outcome occurred. Proteas fans will be delighted that they managed to post a total comfortably into the 300s, and most impressively, bowled Sri Lanka out for 251.
With the bat, Faf du Plessis (88), Hashim Amla (65), Rassie van der Dussen (40) and Andile Phehlukwayo (35) showed off their capabilities.
With the ball, Phehlukwayo took an impressive 4-36, while Lungi Ngidi was second best with 2-12 in six overs.
Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images