Babar Azam equals Imran Khan’s duck record as Pakistan captain
Pakistan won the opening game by 142 runs bowling Afghanistan out for 59.
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Ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup, Pakistan absolutely rattled Afghanistan in the opening match of the three-match series, winning by 142 runs. Notably, the Men in Green didn’t have a great start with the bat as Fakhar Zaman and skipper Babar Azam failed to make a mark. The latter was in sensational form in the recently concluded Lanka Premier League but in the first ODI, he failed to open his account.
With that, he now has four ducks in ODI cricket and two as captain. With this, he has equalled the record of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Azhar Ali, and Younis Khan. On the other hand, Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the first spinner to dismiss Babar on a duck. Meanwhile, even though he has failed to get going, Pakistan faced no problems whatsoever. Opener Imam-ul-Haq gave a proper start hitting 61 runs off 94 deliveries while Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan took control of the situation in the middle overs and helped Pakistan post 201 runs in the first innings.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan were once again brilliant for Afghanistan and that will boost their confidence ahead of the mega tournament. However, it's the batting that absolutely let them down. The Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side faced the wrath of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in the second innings as they eventually got bowled out for just 59 runs. Nine of their players failed to score in double digits and that’s a massive reason to worry about.
Meanwhile, Pakistan batters too will be aiming to get better ahead of two mega tournaments. Their Asia Cup campaign will start on August 30 against Nepal and in their following matches, they will take on India in Sri Lanka. When it comes to the upcoming ODI World Cup, they will play their first match against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, will begin their Asia Cup campaign against Bangladesh on September 3 and will play their first match in the World Cup on October 7 against the same opponent.