Afghanistan collapses as Pakistan wins the series 3-0: Player ratings for Afghanistan
Hashmatullah Shahidi’s Afghanistan got whitewashed against Babar Azam‘s Pakistan in the three-match ODI series played in Sri Lanka. From an indelible batting line-up collapse to disappointing bowling performances from experienced veterans, the series opened numerous loopholes in the Afghanistan side ahead of the highly anticipated ICC World Cup.
This year, Afghanistan is yet to win or tie a series against any full member of the ICC. Since Mohammad Nabi stepped down as the captain of the nation, they have played against the likes of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, only to lose the majority of matches.
In addition to that, they have also recorded one of the most dreadful losses in the history of cricket. In June, they lost against Bangladesh by a gigantic margin of 546 runs, which is the third-heaviest defeat in the history of the game. On the other hand, Pakistan annihilated Afghanistan’s batting line-up on just 59 runs in the first match of their ODI series, which is the nation’s second-lowest total in history.
Despite a majority of the players failing to impress on the big stage against Pakistan, some of them helped the Afghanistan fans believe that a win against the Green Shirts is possible. Hence, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the performances of Afghanistan players in the ODI series against Pakistan.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (7/10): The 21-year-old is slowly emerging as the most credible batsman for Afghanistan. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who opens for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League made his debut for the nation in 2019 and since then, his graph has only inclined.
In Afghanistan’s infamous batting line-up collapse in the first ODI match against Babar Azam’s Pakistan, Gurbaz was the highest scorer of the side with 18 runs and he was also only the second batter in the match to score runs in double digits. Gurbaz played a brilliant 151-run inning against Pakistan in the second match, as he smashed three sixes and fourteen boundaries.
In the third match, the opening batsman had another disappointing batting display by scoring only five runs off 15 deliveries. Despite everything that happened in the series, Gurbaz was Afghanistan’s top scorer in the three-match series.
Ibrahim Zadran (5/10): Ibrahim Zadran has been another reliable batter for the side, however, he failed to stand strong against the pace of Pakistani bowlers. In the first match, he was dismissed by Shaheen Shah Afridi for a duck after he played six deliveries. In the second match, Zadran played a great role as he supported Rahmanullah Gurbaz perfectly.
Scoring 80 runs off 101 deliveries, the 21-year-old proved that he can be trusted as an opening batsman. Trusting Riaz Hassan, Zadran was shifting onto the third spot in the Afghanistan batting line-up for the last match of the season. Hence, coming on the pitch after the early departure of Gurbaz, the 21-year-old scored nothing on 11 deliveries, concluding his campaign on a disappointing note.
Rahmat Shah (3/10): A lot of expectations were tied to Rahmat Shah ahead of the neutral venue series but he eventually failed to perform on any of those expectations.
He started the series against Pakistan on a golden duck, as he was caught at the mid-wicket by Salman Ali Agha on a full toss by Afridi. He also bowled an over in the match and dismissed Haris Rauf. Consequently, he was dropped by the coaching staff in the other two matches.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (3/10): The Afghanistani skipper would be looking at pointing out the mistakes his side made against the Green Shirts which led them to a series of disappointing losses. In the first match of the series, he was dismissed on 0 by Naseem Shah.
Shahidi played a much laid-back role in the second match as he came to bat on the sixth number and scored 15 runs off 11 balls, however, he didn’t play the role of a finisher, which he was expected to do in the last few overs. The skipper failed to impress in the third match too as he only managed to score 13 runs off 31 deliveries, losing his wicket against Shadab Khan.
Riaz Hassan (4/10): Riaz Hassan was given the chance to play in the third match as he opened the innings alongside Rahmanullah Gurbaz. After Gurbaz got out for cheap bucks, Hassan somehow held the inning by a thread as he scored 34 runs. But he eventually fell into the spin trap created by Shadab Khan before completing his half-century.
Ikram Alikhil (2/10): Another young prospect in Afghanistan’s batting line-up that failed drastically against Pakistan. Coming on to bat at the score of 4/3, Alikhil failed to sustain the sheer degree of pressure of the situation and ended up losing his wicket at just four runs.
Shahidullah (4/10): After not being a part of the squad in the first match, Shahidullah was picked in the second match to add experience to the batting line-up. Nevertheless, he ran out in his first match with a score of one. In his second match, he scored 37 runs off 65 deliveries before getting dismissed by Shadab Khan.
Azmatullah Omarzai (3/10): Azmatullah Omarzai looked decent against Pakistan’s bowling line-up as she smashed three boundaries against the Green Shirts. However, his campaign was cut short on just 16 runs after he sustained an injury and he had to step down. He also bowled four overs in the same match but was deprived of any wicket.
Mohammad Nabi (6/10): The most experienced player of the team, Mohammad Nabi has been part of the Afghanistan team through all the thick and thin. The 38-year-old turned down as the skipper of the last year and he’s currently playing the role of a finisher and mentor for the new captain. He took two wickets against Pakistan in the first match by conceding 34 runs, however, his batting was prominently disappointing.
In the next match, Nabi completed his spell of 10 overs by leaking 46 runs and took two vital wickets. In the last match, Nabi bowled four overs, failing to get a wicket, and scored only three runs.
Rashid Khan (3/10): One of the most prolific bowlers in the world of cricket currently, Rashid Khan has been transitioning his role from a full-time bowler to an all-rounder. Playing against Pakistan, he took two wickets in the first match but also got out on a duck against Haris Rauf.
In the second match, Rashid Khan failed to take any wickets in his 10 overs. In the last match, he ended the series on a disappointing note by taking only a single more wicket, conceding 42 runs.
Abdul Rahman (2/10): Abdul Rahman didn’t take any wickets in the first match after bowling twenty deliveries. Rahman was massively targeted by Pakistani batters as he leaked 83 runs in ten overs and took the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed. Consequently, he was later dropped for other matches.
Gulbadin Naib (7/10): Gulbadin Naib was given the chance to play in the third match. He bowled nine overs, considering 36 runs, and took two wickets. In addition to that, he also bowled a maiden over.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (7/10): After Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is ready to take on the world with his bowling brilliance. In the series opener, he took three by conceding only 33 runs and additionally, he also bowled a maiden over. In the deciding fixture, Rahman gave a reliable performance in the middle overs by leaking 45 runs and taking the wicket of man of the series, Imam-ul-Haq. In the third match, he took the wicket of Shadab Khan in his 10-over spell, leaking a total of 50 runs.
Fazalhaq Farooqi (4/10): Ace Afghanistan bowler, Fazalhaq Farooqi is another big name in cricket, these days. However, the left-arm fast-medium bowler suffered visible problems against the Pakistani batting line-up.
He conceded 51 runs in the first match in eight overs and took a single wicket. In the next match, Farooqi took three crucial wickets, however, his economy rate was a concern. Similarly, in the last match, he again had a higher economy rate than fellow bowlers as he leaked 45 runs in seven overs, taking the wicket of Muhammad Nawaz.
Fareed Ahmad (3/10): Fareed Ahmad finally got to play for Afghanistan in the last match of the series. He completed his spell of ten overs and leaked a total of 70 runs. Interestingly, he also dismissed the likes of Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf.
Nevertheless, Hashmatullah Shahidi and the team will be looking forward to the upcoming Asia Cup, where they have been drawn in Group B alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which they faced recently. After the Asia Cup, they’ll have to shift their focus towards the most prestigious cricket event, the ICC Cricket World, which will take place in India.