The Pakistan cricket team copped almost universal criticism on Monday after their stunning capitulation to Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup.
Legendary Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar was seemingly at a loss for words after the game, in which his team lost to Afghanistan for the first time in men’s ODI cricket history by a whopping eight wickets.
Moreover, Afghanistan completed the chase of 283 with an over to spare. Akhtar’s longtime teammate and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi admitted that Afghanistan played better cricket than them on the night.
While several former cricketers were busy bashing the Pakistani side for their underwhelming performance, India batting great Sachin Tendulkar shared a message on social media praising Afghanistan for their efforts.
Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter) after Afghanistan completed their highest run-chase in the 50-over format, batting legend Tendulkar opined that the cricket world is taking note of Afghanistan’s stellar run at the World Cup in India. This was their second win of the tournament, having stunned defending England earlier this month.
“Afghanistan’s performance at this World Cup has been nothing short of outstanding. Their discipline with the bat, the temperament they’ve shown, and aggressive running between the wickets reflects their hard work.
It could possibly be due to a certain Mr. Ajay Jadeja’s influence,” Tendulkar said referring to his former India teammate who is part of the Afghanistan setup in this World Cup as a team mentor.
“With a formidable bowling lineup, their victories over teams like England and Pakistan indicate the emergence of a new Afghanistan team. The cricket world is taking note. Well done! #PAKvsAFG,” Tendulkar added.
Babar had won the toss and said that Pakistan would be batting first at Chepauk. His 74 off 92 and Abdullah Shafique’s 58 off 75 helped Pakistan to a score of 282/7.
Youngster Noor Ahmad emerged as the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan. Ahmed picked up three wickets and leaked 49 runs to record his career-best figures.
While it was expected to be a steep chase for Afghanistan, a combination of their batters being clinical and Pakistan committing some comical mistakes in the field helped the former stay in control for much of the chase.
Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) and Ibrahim Zadran (87) added 130 runs for the first wicket before Rahmat Shah (77*) joined forces with captain Shahidi (48*) to seal Afghanistan’s eight-wicket win over Pakistan.