The Afghanistan Under-19 side has completed a famous series win over their Pakistani counterparts after winning the third and deciding match today in Lahore.
Put into bat, Afghanistan lost their first wicket early on, with Shahidullah out in just the second over. Hazratullah Zazai and Ihsanullah then put on 78 before Zazai was the next man out from the first ball of the 14th over. He had scored 42 from 40 balls. Ihsanullah went on to score 65 before he was the fifth wicket to fall.
The next two wickets went without anything being added to the score, and Afghanistan looked to have thrown away their good start as they were reduced to 143-7 with 18 overs still to play. Wicket-keeper Mohammad Sardar ensured that they were able to post a respectable score though, hitting an unbeaten 56.
The visitors were able to bat out their 45 overs, scoring 223-9. Mohammad Shahabul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-22.
The home side soon found themselves in trouble against the Afghan bowling attack, and had lost their first three wickets within the first five overs of their run chase. A 44 run partnership for the fourth wicket between Yousaf Babar and Imran Rafiq steadied the innings, and the middle order rallied, but Pakistan still mostly struggled.
Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 154 to lose by 69 runs. Zia-ur-Rehman bowled superbly for Afghanistan, taking 4-17, whilst Shahidullah also chipped in with 3-34.
A series win over a full member is bound to make the Afghans odds on favourites at the Asian Under-19 Premier League in Kuwait. That tournament starts in a week's time, with the winners qualifying for the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, and the runners-up going into a repÍchage tournament.
Pakistan Under-19s lost to Afghanistan Under-19s by 69 runs
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, 31 October
Afghanistan Under-19s 223-9 (45 overs, Ihsanullah 65, Mohammad Sardar 56*, Hazratullah Zazai 42, Mohammad Shahabul 3-22)
Pakistan Under-19s 154 (41.3 overs, Zia-ur-Rehman 4-17, Shahidullah 3-34)