Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by 142 runs in the opening ODI match held in Sri Lanka, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. This is Afghanistan’s home series since they cannot host matches for security reasons.
Setting a target of 202 for Afghanistan, Pakistan bowled them out for just 59 runs in under 20 overs. Haris Rauf starred for Pakistan, grabbing five wickets for just 18 runs. This marked his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs. Shaheen Shah Afridi’s early blows paved the way for Pakistan’s dominance. For Afghanistan, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the highest scorer with 18.
Earlier, despite initial setbacks from Afghanistan’s spinners, Imam-ul-Haq’s determined 61 runs and a vital contribution from Shadab Khan set Pakistan up for a competitive 202. Imam’s half-century and Shadab’s late push, aided by Naseem Shah’s brief cameo, allowed Pakistan to post the 202-run target. Afghan bowlers Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi both bagged two wickets each.
Pakistan: Imamul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Aga, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zardan, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Abdul Rehman, Ikram Ali.