World Cup 2019: Pakistan chasing 228 to beat Afghanistan

Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets against Afghanistan to restrict them at 227 for nine wickets at Leeds on Saturday. Pakistan need to chase this target down sucessfully to keep their hopes alive for semi-finals.

Earlier, Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first against Pakistan on Saturday in 36th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 being played at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, England.

Pakistan looks to stay in the hunt of a semi-final spot as they take on Afghanistan today. Afghanistan haven’t batted first much in this tournament but, conditions-wise, this is a good chance for them today to secure a decent score. They’ve never beaten Pakistan in ODIs though, losing all of their three previous meetings. However, they won a warm-up match against Pakistan.

The match starts at 2:30pm (PST), am 10.30 GMT and 09.30am local time.

Fans from both sides of the border between war-weary nation Afghanistan and Pakistan will watch this World Cup match with intense emotions.

Pakistan cannot afford any more slip-ups, needing to win their final two matches to retain a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Hamid Hassan is back for Afghanistan, while Pakistan are unchanged, Wahab Riaz having overcome a spot of finger-niggle.

Pakistan: Sarfaraz is unlikely to change his playing XI, unless enforced by an injury, as the combination has worked very well for him over the wins against South Africa and New Zealand.

Team Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi

Afghanistan: Team Afghanistan’s spinners took only 8 wickets in their first five games. The last two games, on drier surfaces, have seen their spinners bag 9 wickets. The captain is difficult to anticipate what change he might do to his team today.

Team Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Pakistan have a 4-5 win-loss record at Headingley in ODI contests. In World Cup games however, ther have a winning 3-2 record here.

Afghanistan have lost the most wickets – 47 – to fast bowlers in this World Cup.

Afghanistan, appearing in just their second World Cup since their debut in 2015, are playing for pride after losing all seven of their matches so far. Many Afghanistan players learned the game growing up as refugees in Pakistan.

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