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Zadran stars as Afghanistan stun Pakistan

Ibrahim Zadran top scored with 87 as Afghanistan secured their second win of the World Cup with a hugely impressive eight-wicket triumph over Pakistan in Chennai.

Zadran shared in an opening stand of 130 with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) as Afghanistan successfully chased down their victory target of 283 with six balls to spare.

The defeat damages Pakistan’s hopes of finishing in the top four while Afghanistan move off the foot of the table, leaving defending champions England rooted to the bottom.

Eighteen-year-old Noor Ahmad was the star with the ball for Afghanistan, claiming the wickets of Pakistan’s main run-scorers, Abdullah Shafique (58) and captain Babar Azam (74).

Some lusty late hitting from Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed, who both scored 40, at least gave the Pakistan attack something to bowl at but Afghanistan’s top order proved much too strong.

Gurbaz and Zadran led the way although Rahmat Shah and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi also deserve enormous credit.

Rahmat blasted an unbeaten 77 off 84 balls and Hashmatullah hit 48 off 45 as Afghanistan eased over the line to the delight of their supporters.

Zadran was named player of the match. He said: “I’m thankful that I performed well in this event.

“I wanted to play with a positive intent. Many times Gurbaz and I have done a brilliant partnership together. We have played a lot of cricket together, right from the Under-16 days.

“I am feeling very glad for myself and for my country.”

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