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Wasim Akram lashes out at Pakistan cricket team after loss against Afghanistan

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Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has heavily criticized the Pakistan cricket team after an upset loss at the hands of Afghanistan in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.

While talking to ‘The Pavilion,’ Wasim Akram slammed the Greenshirts for their below-par performance in the field, owing to their substandard fitness levels.

“It was embarrassing today, look at the fielding, and the fitness levels. We’ve been screaming for the last 3 weeks that these players haven’t undergone a fitness test in the last two years,” said Wasim Akram.

He further emphasized the significance of being physically fit to perform well in the field.

“Fielding is all about fitness and that’s where we are lacking. Now we have reached that same position, where we will pray for ifs and buts to happen,” he further added.

Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by eight wickets in the ICC World Cup 2023 match yesterday.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah scored sensible half-centuries after Noor Ahmad’s 3/49 led Afghanistan to upset Pakistan.

The eight-wicket victory marked Afghanistan’s first over Pakistan in ODIs. The two sides had come face to face on seven occasions in the 50-over format.

Set to chase 283, Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran provided a solid start to the team. The pair put together a century-plus stand as both scored half-centuries before Usama Mir dismissed Gurbaz in the 22nd over.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim stood his ground firm and was involved in another anchoring partnership when he added 60 runs for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah before Hasan Ali got rid of him in the 34th over.

He top-scored for Afghanistan with 87 in 113 balls, hitting 10 boundaries.

Shah was then joined by his skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi and the duo knitted a sensible 96-run partnership to steer Afghanistan to a historic victory with an over to spare.

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Rahmat Shah scored an unbeaten 77 off 84 deliveries, laced up with five boundaries and two sixes while Shahidi scored 48 not out in 45 balls with the help of four boundaries.

For Pakistan, only Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali could pick up a wicket each while the rest of their bowlers went wicketless against Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, in the first innings Pakistan opening batters Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq justified their captain’s decision to bat first by putting up a 56-run partnership.

Azmatullah Omarzai gave the first breakthrough to Afghanistan by sending Imam-ul-Haq back ending his brief innings of 17 off 22.

Babar Azam then joined Abdullah Shafique and piled up 54 runs for the second wicket, before Noor Ahmad dismissed the latter to claim his first World Cup wicket.

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Shafique scored 56 off 75, knitted with five boundaries and two sixes.

Babar Azam played a cautious 74-run knock from 92 deliveries, with the help of four boundaries and one six, before falling to Noor Ahmad.

Iftikhar Ahmed then joined Shadab Khan at a total of 206 in the 42nd over and attacked Afghanistan bowlers with a blistering innings of 42 off 27, featuring two boundaries and four sixes.

Together they added 73 runs off 45 balls to lift Pakistan’s total to 282, before falling in the final over.

Noor Ahmad returned with figures of 3-49 for Afghanistan, while Naveen-ul-Haq picked two wickets.

The sensational eight-wicket victory ascended Afghanistan to sixth in the ICC World Cup 2023 standings while Pakistan managed to hold on to their fifth position.

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