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Pakistan beat Afghanistan to keep World Cup dream alive

Pakistan beat Afghanistan by three wickets in a nail-biting contest on Saturday, winning their second last group stage match of the World Cup 2019 and keeping their hopes alive for the semi-final.

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi struck twice in successive balls to leave Afghanistan in deep trouble in their World Cup match at Headingley on Saturday.

The 19-year-old dismissed captain Gulbadin Naib (15) off the fourth ball of the fifth over before accounting for Hashmatullah Shahidi with his next ball to leave Afghanistan tottering at 27-2.

It became 57-3 when left-arm spinner Imad Wasim had Rahmat Shah caught off a miscued shot for 35.

Shah and Naib had looked untroubled after Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat on a flat, brownish pitch but they were derailed by Shaheen’s double strike.

Shaheen took 3-28 in Pakistan’s six-wicket win over New Zealand in their last game at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Afghanistan were 83-3 after 17 overs, with Asghar Afghan not out 16 and Ikram Alikhil unbeaten on 11.

Pakistan, who have seven points from as many games and remain in contention for the semi-finals after two straight wins, kept an unchanged side from the one that beat New Zealand.

Afghanistan, who have lost all seven of their matches, brought in fast bowler Hamid Hassan in place of Dawlat Zadran from the side that lost to Bangladesh.

Title-holders Australia are the only side to have qualified for the semi-finals in the 10-team competition so far.

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