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Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi in action.-Reuters

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom: Afghanistan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi took two quick wickets to slow Pakistan’s progress in the World Cup match at Headingley on Saturday.

A third straight victory for Pakistan would see them leapfrog England and move into fourth place in the 10-team table after a poor start to the tournament.

Afghanistan managed 227 for nine in their 50 overs and Pakistan, who have never lost a one-day international to their neighbours, were cruising at 72-1 in reply.

But Nabi struck with the last ball of the 16th over when he lured Imam-ul-Haq from the crease and had the left-hander stumped by Ikram Alikhil for 36.

In his next over he bowled Pakistan’s in-form Babar Azam, who departed after scoring an attractive 51-ball 45.

Pakistan's Babar Azam looks dejected after being bowled out by Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi.-Reuters

Babar and Imam had steadied the ship after Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman for a duck off the second ball of the innings, trapped leg-before by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Pakistan were 87-3 after 20 overs, with Mohammad Hafeez unbeaten on three and Haris Sohail batting on two.

Earlier, lanky paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi shone with the ball, returning figures of 4-47 to add to the three wickets he took against New Zealand.

Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran both scored 42 while opener Rahmat Shah made 35.-AFP

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