Pakistan beats Afghanistan despite Rahmanullah’s scintillating ton

Afghanistan wicket-keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz broke records Thursday during his run-a-ball 151 against Pakistan at Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Despite his efforts, Pakistan won by 1 wicket (with 1 ball remaining).

Afghanistan amassed a solid total of 300/5, courtesy of Gurbaz’s brilliant 151. This was the team’s highest total against their regional rivals.

Gurbaz’s knock, which included 14 boundaries and three sixes, saw him take the Pakistan attack to the cleaners. Together with Ibrahim Zadran (80), he added 227 runs for the first wicket, Afghanistan’s second-highest partnership for any wicket.

After being bundled out for only 59 in the first ODI in their three-match series on Tuesday, Afghanistan showed great fight with the bat in their second match in the series. The strong start from Gurbaz and Zadran was followed by a slight wobble towards the death, but Mohammed Nabi’s run-a-ball 29 helped them reach 300.

Gurbaz’s 151 runs was the highest score by an Afghanistan batsman against Pakistan and was also the first-ever century by an Afghanistan player against the nation. Their previous highest individual effort was Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 97.

This was Gurbaz’s fifth ODI ton, and it came in only 23 innings. He became the third fastest player to hit five ODI hundreds, overtaking Babar Azam (25 innings).

His tally was also the first time that a wicket-keeper scored a 150 runs in an ODI against Pakistan. The previous best by a wicket-keeper was MS Dhoni’s 148 at Vishakhapatnam.