Despite rain not allowing 17.4 off the 40 overs to be completed, Pakistan gathered quite a few positives from their warm-up match against Afghanistan at the Gabba. Especially with the ball. Shaheen Shah Afridi headlined the first innings with a couple of wickets. Haris Rauf also continued his fine run in the lead up to Sunday’s fixture against India with a brace whereas Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz also picked a wicket each.
In response to Afghanistan’s finish of 154, Pakistan could only put 19 runs on the board without losing a wicket before rain halted, and eventually abandoned the play.
Here’s a quick form-check from the first innings of the half-completed match:
Shaheen Shah Afridi (2/29)
The left armer was breathing fire right from the first over as he managed to dismiss Rahmanullah Gurbaz with a toe crushing yorker for a golden duck. The 22-year-old followed it up with another wicket off his second over, cleaning up the other Afghan opener, Hazratullah Zazai and putting the opposition on the back foot.
Haris Rauf (2/34)
His economy may not have been at his usual best, but Haris Rauf’s brace was an extension of his recent form in the buildup to the upcoming world tournament. Rauf took the attack to the Afghan batters with his fiery pace and bounce.
Mohammad Nawaz (1/7)
“The left-arm orthodox spinners do well in Big Bash,” former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik had said and Mohammad Nawaz is making it look evident. The left armer may have only bowled a couple of overs at Gabba but they were enough to signify his place in the bowling attack.
Shadab Khan (1/19)
Dynamic on the field, a thrasher who can be floated up the batting order and a wicket taker, Shadab Khan is the complete package a team could ask for. His outing against Afghanistan was handy as he dismissed Ibrahim Zadran (35 off 34) at a crucial juncture in the match to further break the bone of Afghanistan’s batting order.
Naseem Shah (0/38)
Of all the Pakistan pacers, Naseem Shah had the most forgetful of outings, remaining wicketless and conceding the heaviest. His pace was utilised by the Afghanistan top order to accumulate runs despite the fall of early wickets.
Mohammad Wasim Jr (0/27)
Against England, Wasim was the pick of Pakistan bowlers with his spell of 2/16. It wasn’t the same for the 21-year-old right-arm pacer against Afghanistan. The opposition batters looked comfortable in negotiating for runs with him after Afridi and Rauf had left them crippled in their first spell.
Mohammad Nabi (51 off 37)
Had it not been for the Afghanistan skippper, the team may have crumbled under pressure, having gone six down for 82. The all-rounder took Rauf and Afridi to the cleaners in the death overs, adding 72 runs for the seventh wicket with Usman Ghani (32 off 20).