Irfan Pathan is a fan of the Afghanistan cricket team. It’s not an assumption, it’s a fact. If his celebrations on the sidelines with Rashid Khan after Afghanistan registered a historic win over Pakistan in World Cup 2023 were not enough then his dance moves after Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka are sure to erase all doubts. And this time, Irfan was not alone. He was joined by another former India cricketer, Harbhajan Singh.
Irfan and Harbhajan danced inside the Star Sports studio moments after Afghanistan’s comprehensive 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Pune. The video which has gone viral shows Irfan inviting Harbhajan to join him as the two former India teammates showed their dance moves.
Coming back to the match, set 242 to win after a disciplined bowling display, Afghanistan finished on 242-3, with Azmatullah Omarzai unbeaten on 73 and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi 58 not out, the pair sharing an unbroken stand of 111.
Afghanistan now have six points and sit in fifth place in the table, two behind New Zealand and Australia with the top four guaranteed to make the semi-finals.
Victory also meant Afghanistan, who’d already beaten champions England, had won back-to-back matches at the World Cup for the first time after they defeated Pakistan by eight wickets last time out.
Prior to this edition, they had managed just one win — against non-Test nation Scotland in 2015 — from their appearances at two previous World Cups.
Yet they have now beaten three World Cup winners in England, 1992 champions Pakistan and 1996 kings Sri Lanka.
“I’m quite happy and proud of the team. I thought we performed well in all three departments,” said Shahidi at the presentation ceremony.
“The Pakistan game gave us a lot of confidence that we can chase down any kind of target.”
Victory was set up by recalled left-arm fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi’s 4-34 in 10 overs as Sri Lanka were held to 241.
Shahidi and Omarzai saw their team home with nearly five overs to spare.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed just four balls into Afghanistan’s chase when bowled by Dilshan Madushanka.
But Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah (62) then shared a stand of 73.
Omarzai added fresh impetus with three sixes in a run-a-ball fifty while composed left-hander Shahidi ensured the runs kept coming at the other end.