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“Afghanistan played better than Pakistan”

To reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, Pakistan needed to score 300 runs in their batting innings to win by 287 runs, and if they batted second, they needed a minimum target of 51 runs within 2.3 overs—an improbable equation. However, England won the toss and decided to bat, diminishing Pakistan’s slim chances even further. The match turned out to be a significant defeat for Babar Azam’s team.

With this loss, Pakistan, comprising Babar, Rizwan, and Afridi, concluded their World Cup campaign with 8 points, finishing just behind the top five teams in the points table. Afghanistan, with 9 points from 8 matches, also missed the semi-finals due to a lower net run rate than the Netherlands.

Although Afghanistan had a commendable performance in most matches, beating Bangladesh, India, and New Zealand, their loss against Bangladesh has been highlighted as a major upset of this World Cup. Considering their positive approach, some argue that Afghanistan could have won against Australia and South Africa as well.

Former Pakistan captains, Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik, acknowledged Afghanistan’s outstanding performance in this World Cup and expressed that Afghanistan played better cricket than Pakistan. Both players praised the Afghan team for their mental toughness and stated that Afghanistan’s cricket has been exceptional in this tournament.

The semifinals showcased intense competition, with Afghanistan impressing despite not making it to the next stage. The team faced Bangladesh, India, and New Zealand, giving tough fights in all matches except the one against Bangladesh. Afghanistan’s performance in this World Cup has earned them respect and recognition, even if they fell short of making it to the semi-finals.

The assessment of Afghanistan’s cricket has been positive from various quarters, with voices like Shoaib Malik stating that Afghanistan played better cricket than Pakistan in this World Cup. Afghanistan’s competitiveness and mental strength have left a lasting impression, and they have gained immense respect for their performance in the tournament.

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