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4-min read

Afghanistan Skipper Gulbadin Faces Heat on Twitter After Disastrous Over Against Pakistan

Gulbadin Naib's decision to bowl the 46th over against Pakistan became the turning point in the thrilling match played at Headingley in Leeds on Saturday.

Anurag Verma | News18.com

Updated:June 30, 2019, 11:52 AM IST
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Afghanistan Skipper Gulbadin Faces Heat on Twitter After Disastrous Over Against Pakistan
Gulbadin Naib / News18.
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Afghanistan's hopes to register their maiden World Cup victory were shattered in a million pieces when the skipper Gulbadin Naib decided to hold the white in his hands and gave away the priciest over of the match to Pakistan on Saturday at Headingley in Leeds.

After posting 227/9 on the scoreboard, Afghanistan's spinners led the attack from the front and tight bowling spells from Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Rashid Khan kept the Gulbadin side in the hunt for most of the game and set up a possible upset for Sarfaraz-led Pakistan. With their hopes of flying to the semis hanging by the thread and the Men in Green needing 46 runs to win off 30 balls with just four wickets in hand - fans in attendance and far away feared the worst.

But then Gulbadin brought in some pace for the 46th over and respite for the Pakistan contingent.

With all-rounder Imad Wasim facing the strike, the Afghan skipper gave away 18 runs that included three boundaries from the bat of Wasim.

And just like that, the pendulum swung back in Pakistan's favour, who needed 28 runs from 24 deliveries. A cameo from Wahab Riaz (15 off 9) and a match-winning innings by Wasim (49 off 54) handed Pakistan a victory from the claws of defeat with two balls and three wickets to spare.

This was Afghanistan's eight loss in the World Cup while Pakistan registered their third consecutive victory, and climbed to the fourth spot on the points table with 9 points - keeping their hopes for semi-finals alive and well.

Gulbadin's expensive over became a huge topic of discussion and debate among fans. Many questioned the skipper on why he brought himself back in the attack when the Pakistani batsmen were finding it hard to free their arms against the able spinners.

"Every team has their plans and I thought the crucial point is for the 46th over that I bowled and 18 runs, it's not really good," Gulbadin said post-match, justifying his decision to bowl.

"I think the pressure was on the Pakistan side. But credit goes to them, how they played and how they finished the game," he further added.

The fans and critics who were eagerly rooting for Afghanistan to upset Pakistan were in for a major disappointment and they gathered on Twitter to vent out their anger, especially against Gulbadin.

"Afghanistan had the game firmly in their hands till the 46th over with Pakistan needing 46 from 5. A tactical blunder by the captain to get himself on along with missing out on a DRS lbw of Imad due to a poor appeal earlier has cost them the match. Well played Imad," Mohammad Kaif wrote on Twitter.

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