Mujeeb Ur Rahman, one of the premier spinners in world cricket, trapped Babar Azam lbw without troubling the scorers, in the early stages of the first ODI at Hambantota. On August 22, Tuesday, during a bright and sunny afternoon at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, the off-spin bowler from Afghanistan deceived Pakistan's captain with a beautiful incoming delivery, to beat him all ends up in front of the stumps.
The first ODI of the three-match series between Afghanistan and Pakistan began with Babar Azam winning the toss and chose to bat first. His decision backfired immediately when Fazalhaq Farooqi scalped for Fakhar Zaman in the first over, slashing at a wide one, only to get caught in the slips by Mohammad Nabi.
In the next over, the captain of Afghanistan, Hashmatullah Shahidi gave the new ball to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who has excelled in the role with the national team for many many years. When Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan came to the striker's end against him, the batter was in for a stern test of his technique.
Then, in a matter of minutes, the 28-year-old misread the trajectory of the ball from the off-spin bowler, trapping him in front of the stumps while playing a defensive stroke. The appeal from Afghanistan players was upheld by the umpire, who gave Babar Azam his marching order before he could have scored a run.
Watch Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismiss Babar Azam lbw for zero here:
Although the Pakistan batting lineup didn’t completely recover from the early setback, they still put a score in excess of 200 on the board, before getting bowled out within their allotted 50 overs. The bowlers of Men in Green took centre stage in the second innings, bowling in Afghanistan for just 59 in 19.2 overs, to register a thumping win by 142 runs.