Afghanistan’s captain Gulbadin Naib reacts after the illusive win goes begging.
Afghanistan’s captain Gulbadin Naib reacts after the illusive win goes begging.

Cup fury: ‘Hang his head in shame’

Afghanistan and Pakistan played out a World Cup thriller in Leeds that saw the cricket minnows fall just short of recording their first win of the tournament.

The Afghanis gave Pakistan an almighty scare but lost in the final over after captain Gulbadin Naib decided to bowl himself.

Pakistan needed six to win from the last six deliveries in pursuit of Afghanistan's 9/227 and managed two singles off the first two balls.

On the third ball Naib had a chance to affect a run out but he fumbled a return throw from the cover fielder and allowed Pakistan to scramble through for two.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan couldn't believe what he was seeing and next ball Imad Wasim cracked a boundary through the off side to seal the result.

Gulbadin finished with figures of 0/73 from 9.4 overs and had the most expensive economy rate of any of the Afghan bowlers.

He was appointed captain for the World Cup after former skipper Asghar Afghan was sacked on the eve of the tournament and social media vented its fury about why Gulbadin bowled himself when there were other options available, including opening bowler Hamid Hassan and Samiullah Shinwari.

Making the captain's call even stranger is the fact he was hammered for 18 off the last over he'd bowled - the 46th - before bringing himself on at the very end.

Gulbadin delivered two full tosses and a ball down the leg side in the last over to continue his poor form with the ball and ultimately cost his team the match.

He was accused of being selfish, wanting to try and win the game on his own rather than doing what was best for the team and giving the ball to someone else.










Afghanistan never really got going in its batting innings but still managed to survive its 50 overs. Rahmat Shah started positively at the top of the order, scoring 35, but Pakistan picked up regular wickets.

Asghar and Najibullah Zadran both top scored with 42 apiece but many of their teammates struggled to cope with left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi.

The 19-year-old was very ordinary in his first few games of the tournament but took 4/47 from 10 overs to back up his 3/28 in his last match against New Zealand.

Pakistan are now in the top four, heaping more pressure on England.
Pakistan are now in the top four, heaping more pressure on England.

Pakistan's innings followed a similar pattern as plenty of batsmen got starts but failed to go on. Imam ul-Haq (36) and Babar Azam (45) put on 72 runs for the second wicket after opener Fakhar Zaman fell for a second-ball duck before the chase hit some speed bumps.

Afghanistan took 3/35 to leave Pakistan teetering at 6/156 but Wasim came to the rescue, playing a match-winning hand by peeling off an unbeaten 49.

Mohammad Nabi was exceptional with the ball for Afghanistan, taking 2/23 from 10 overs with his off-spin while fellow tweaker Mujeeb Ur Rahman also grabbed two scalps.

Pakistan leapfrogged England into fourth spot on the ladder and kept its hopes of playing in the semi-finals alive.