The injury curse has now hit Afghanistan camp ahead of the World Cup. The likes of Australia, New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka have already been hit by injuries. Afghanistan’s star opener Mohammad Shahzad is the latest to pick up injury just days before the World Cup starts. The wicketkeeper-batsman suffered the injury when he was batting in the warm-up game against Pakistan on Friday (May 24).
The right-handed batsman retired hurt after feeling some problem in his left knee over the past few deliveries. He was replaced by Rahmat Shah at the crease. Before leaving the field, Shahzad had scored 23 runs with the help of 5 fours. Shahzad is integral to Afghanistan’s chances in the World Cup and the team would be desperately hoping that the injury is nothing serious.
Meanwhile, earlier in the match Afghanistan bowled out Pakistan for just 262 inside 48 overs. Babar Azam continued his red-hot form with the bat, scoring 112 but other batsmen failed to compliment him. Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman started well by adding 47 runs before Pakistan lost three quick wickets to find themselves 3 down for 65. They were soon reeling at 100 for 4 before Azam and Shoaib Malik (44) added 103 runs for the fifth wicket.
Mohammad Shahzad leaves the field retired hurt for Afghanistan.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 24, 2019
However, once Malik departed, Pakistan lost their remaining five batsmen for just 59 runs. This is a contrasting batting display from what Pakistan showed against England. Although they had lost the series 4-0, they had scored more than 300 runs in three of those four games. At the time of Shahzad’s departure, Afghanistan were 51 for no loss.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, will open their World Cup campaign on June 1 against defending champions Australia. Pakistan, on the other hand, will take on West Indies on May 31 in their tournament-opener.