Harif Rauf’s 5 wicket haul powers Pakistan to a dominant ODI victory

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In the first contest of the three-match series between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, Pakistan with Haris Rauf’s 5 wicket haul secured a dominant win with a 142-runs in an otherwise low-scoring game.

Fiery Five-Wicket Haul by Haris Rauf

Haris Rauf, the Rawalpindi-based fast bowler, wreaked havoc upon Afghanistan’s batting line with his pace attack. He achieved a career-best five-wicket haul by taking 5 wickets for just 18 runs in 6.2 overs. It is also pertinent to mention that Rauf bowled all his 6.2 overs with an average speed of 90mph. Haris Rauf’s previous best bowling figures were 4-65 against England in Birmingham in 2021.

This remarkable performance by Pakistan’s pace battery compelled Afghanistan to a meager total of only 59 runs, their all-time second-lowest ODI score, in a mere 19.2 overs. This destructive display of pace attack came after Pakistan was bowled out for 201 runs in 47.1 overs, which many thought could be an easy target for the Afghanistan-firing batting lineup with Gurbaz at the front.

Pakistan Takes a 1-0 Series Lead – Series Advantage

With this impressive win, Pakistan has got a lead of 1-0 in a series of three-ODI-Match series against Afghanistan, the first bilateral series between both countries.
The upcoming matches are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday in Colombo, which Pakistan would like to follow in the same fashion, but Afghanistan’s spin bowling department is extremely good, economical, and tricky, and Pakistan’s batting lineup should be very cautious about.

Rauf Leads the Assault in rapid fall of Wickets

Pakistan star bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi started the first over in a usual manner with the full pitched-up delivers, bowling Ibrahim Zadran and Rehmat Shah in the third over on successive delivers, missing out on the hattrick chance, Whereafter, Naseem Shah took the major scalp of Afghanistan Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, who went on a duck.

After both pacers left bowling, Haris Rauf continued the demolition, grabbing 5 wickets from Ikram Alikhi, Rehmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rehman, and with an off-stump beauty to Rashid Khan. Commentators kept speaking about Pakistan’s pace battery being one of the best in the world, making the team a serious contender in the upcoming Asia Cup followed by ODI World Cup 2023 in October 2023.

Read more about: Naseem Shah’s Heroics Secure thrilling Win Over Afghanistan

Pakistan Team struggled with the Bat

Pakistan faced serious challenges on a slow batting wicket when Fakhar Zaman left the pitch for only two runs continuing his bad form, with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan giving their important wickets to Rahman for a short run. Star contributors were Imam-ul-Haq with his 61 runs off 94 balls, Shadab Khan with his 39 runs, and Iftikhar Ahmed with 30 valuable runs.

The pitch played a crucial role in the game, it was not supposed to perform the way it did in the game. Few balls nipped back quite a bit and more often than not, it stayed low making it quite troublesome for bowlers to play world class spinners like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb.

Late-Order Resistance – Shadab and Naseem’s Stand

An addition with 35 valuable runs was made with the 9th wicket partnership between Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah, which also strengthened the otherwise low score by Pakistan’s batting.

With his fiery bowling spell, Haris Rauf’s got the man of the match, which paved the way for a thorough victory over Afghanistan in the first ODI match.

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