Leeds: Pakistan has edged Afghanistan by three wickets with two balls to spare in a tense finish to overhaul England and move into fourth spot on the Cricket World Cup standings.
Imad Wasim hit a boundary for the winning runs and finished unbeaten on 49 with Pakistan on 230-7. He shared a 24-run stand with No 9 Wahab Riaz, who was unbeaten on 15.
Wahab, with Pakistan needing 16 off 11, hit a six off Rashid Khan and then ran a risky two — despite the two unnecessary run outs that compounded pressure earlier in the innings.
A small group of fans spilled onto the field at Headingley to congratulate the players, waving flags and causing all kinds of issues for the security.
Teenage paceman Shaheen Afridi took 4-47 earlier as Pakistan restricted Afghanistan to 227-9. It was an eighth consecutive loss for Afghanistan and a second narrow defeat to a regional rival — it followed an 11-run loss to two-time champion India.
At one stage, Pakistan were six down for 182 runs after 45 overs. They needed 46 runs from five overs when Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib decided to bowl the over. It proved to be a bad move as he conceded 18 runs, which turned the things around for Pakistan.
Here's how twitter reacted to Pakistan's win and Naib's expensive over:
'Worst, selfish captaincy ever'
Afghanistan should fire their captain for egomaniacal stupidity. He had a real chance of becoming a mega star by just letting his team win, than insist on bowling himself at crucial points incl the last over—and spraying full tosses. The worst, selfish captaincy ever
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin bloody fool. Why. Why. Why. Why. Why Gulbadin why. Why. Why why why why. Why. Why why. Just heart breaking nonsense. — Member of Whale (@sidin) June 29, 2019
Several reasons can be cited for Afghanistan's defeat today, of which Naib's overestimation of himself as a bowler will be towards the top. Pakistan needed 46 from 30. Rashid had 2, Mujeeb 1. He bowled himself and went for 18. He then bowled the last over.#CWC19 — Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin Naib is Afghanistan's captain in ODIs: He averages 21.65 with the bat. He opened the batting vs Pakistan scoring 12. He averages 32.57 with the ball & has one wicket all tournament. He bowled himself for 10 overs vs Pakistan, conceded 73 & was wicketless. 😳#PAKvsAFG pic.twitter.com/vDYa69kUd7 — bet365 (@bet365) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin Naib should hang his head in shame. He cost Afghanistan a historic World Cup win for his own personal gain. Shambolic from the captain. #AFGvPAK #CWC2019 — Joshua Jones (@joshuapsjones) June 29, 2019
Terrible fielding to accompany awful captaincy and poor bowling. Naib just letting his side down today in a big way — Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) June 29, 2019
Afghanistan sacking Afghan, their captain for 4 years, and replacing him with Gulbadin on the brink of the World Cup, was remarkable. That's the sadness of Afghanistan's World Cup campaign: politics has dragged the team down, and they're performing under themselves. — Tim (@timwig) June 29, 2019
Wow, that was some finish to this game AFG vs PAK. Several tactical errors on both sides. But my heart goes out to Afghanistan. They battled so hard in their last 3 games. Happy though, that Pakistan have kept their hopes alive, & kept the tournament interesting👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. — ian bishop (@irbishi) June 29, 2019
'The winning moment'
Phew....Thrill-A-Minute Pakistan dodges a bullet. A serious one. Imad Wasim...you beauty. But more importantly, Pakistan’s Wild-Card entry—Wahab Riaz keeps the dream intact with a broken finger. Take a bow 🙇♂️ #CWC19 #PakvAfg — Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 29, 2019
With inputs from AP