Naseem Shah leads Pakistan to thrilling victory over Afghanistan in second ODI

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Pakistan’s number ten batsman, Naseem Shah, played a heroic innings to guide his team to a dramatic one-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the second ODI at Hambantota. Shah hit a boundary off the penultimate delivery, scoring 11 off the final over, to help Pakistan chase down Afghanistan’s total of 300-5 and secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The match was full of twists and turns, with both teams fighting till the end. Afghanistan’s opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, played a career-best innings of 151 runs off just 151 balls, lifting his team to a competitive total. However, Pakistan’s late surge overshadowed Gurbaz’s performance, with Shah and Shadab Khan playing crucial roles in the chase.

Needing 27 runs off the last two overs, Pakistan was brought closer to the target by Khan, who hit a boundary and a six in the 49th over. However, Farooqi ran out Khan with a Mankad dismissal, adding more drama to the match. But Shah remained calm under pressure and hit two boundaries and two sixes in the last over to secure victory for Pakistan.

Earlier, Pakistan’s opener, Imam-ul-Haq, laid the foundation with a composed innings of 91 runs. He shared solid partnerships with Fakhar Zaman and captain Babar Azam before Afghanistan’s bowlers fought back, dismissing five Pakistani batsmen in quick succession. However, Khan’s explosive innings and Shah’s heroics in the end secured the win for Pakistan.

For Afghanistan, Gurbaz’s innings was the standout performance, as he hit 14 boundaries and three sixes against a strong Pakistani bowling attack. Ibrahim Zadran also contributed with a solid 80 runs, but the rest of the batting lineup struggled to capitalize.

This thrilling victory puts Pakistan in a commanding position in the series, with the final match set to take place in Colombo on Saturday. Both teams will be looking to finish the series on a high note and provide another thrilling contest for cricket fans.

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