Nervy Pakistan edge Afghanistan in Headingley thriller to boost last-four hopes

Nervy Pakistan survived a huge scare to beat Afghanistan by three wickets in an enthralling Cricket World Cup contest and pile the pressure on their rivals for a semi-final spot.

Shaheen Afridi's return of 4-47 was instrumental in helping restrict Afghanistan to 227-9 at Headingley, a total that looked below par on a day marred by clashes between spectators inside and outside the ground in Leeds.

But a scratchy middle-order showing with the bat from Pakistan, coupled with a fine bowling effort from Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, had the 1992 champions reeling at 156-6.

Imad Wasim (49 not out) provided the steadying influence Pakistan needed as they edged over the line with two balls to spare, meaning winless Afghanistan fell narrowly short of a famous victory just as they did a week ago against India.

Pakistan move up to fourth and raise the tension on hosts and pre-tournament favourites England ahead of their Sunday showdown with India, while Bangladesh now face an uphill task to make the last four.

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