Pakistan skipper Babar Azam gifts his bat to Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Sports Tuesday 24/October/2023 09:21 AM
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam gifts his bat to Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Chennai: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam gifted his bat to opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz who scored a stunning 65 to help Afghanistan pull off a historic victory over the Men in Green in the ongoing World Cup.

Afghanistan registered their second surprise victory in the World Cup and their first-ever win over Pakistan in 50-over cricket on Monday.

Gurbaz along with Ibrahim Zadran set the tone for the 283-run chase by stitching up a 130-run partnership. His quick-fire knock of 65 off 53 balls allowed Afghanistan to register their first victory over the Men in Green in the 50-over format.

Even though Pakistan ended up on the losing side and are on the verge of entering the must-win territory, Babar won hearts by gifting his bat to Gurbaz keeping the "spirit of cricket alive".

"A gift from Babar Azam. The spirit of cricket alive and well," ICC wrote on X.

Riding on a dazzling all-round performance in the field, Afghanistan stunned their neighbours with a thumping eight-wicket defeat on a sluggish Chennai surface.

The opening pair of Gurbaz (65), and Zadran (87), along with Rahmat Shah (77)* at No.3, starred with the bat to help Afghanistan post a win for the ages.

After the mauling against India, Pakistan's bowlers had another forgettable outing, failing to put any pressure on the Afghan batters despite defending an above-par total of 283 on a sluggish and challenging Chennai surface.

Chasing 283, a challenging total on a Chennai pitch affording uneven bounce, Afghanistan cantered to a win by eight wickets, with an over to spare.

Afghanistan has now got the better of two cricketing powerhouses -- former world champions Pakistan and the defending champions England. The win lifted Afghanistan to sixth on the points table. On the other hand, Pakistan stayed in the fifth position with four points and a net run rate of -0.400.

The high-flying Afghans will play Sri Lanka next on October 30 at the high-scoring Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.