Mohammad Shahzad has been suspended by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) due to alleged breaches of the board's code of conduct.

The former captain faces disciplinary action for repeatedly travelling out of the country without permission, the ACB said.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Shahzad's suspension comes two months after he threatened to quit international cricket, claiming he was wrongly withdrawn from the Cricket World Cup squad.

Shahzad was replaced by Ikram Ali Khil early in the tournament after being ruled out of the rest of the competition with a knee injury, but stated he had been cleared to play by a doctor in London.

The 32-year-old is now facing an uncertain future following the ACB's decision to suspend him.

An ACB statement released on Saturday said: "The Afghanistan Cricket Board today suspended the contract of wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad for an indefinite period due to breach of ACB's code of conduct by the player.

"As per ACB's policies, any player travelling out of the country is required to seek the permission of ACB. Shahzad has not adhered to this, repetitively.

"Mohammad Shahzad has also breached the ACB code of conduct previously and was recently called for questioning by the ACB discipline committee in relation to a disciplinary matter during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

"Mohammad Shahzad did not attend meetings scheduled with the discipline committee on 20th and 25th of the last month. The discipline committee will meet after Eid-ul Adha holidays to assess the breaches by Mohammad Shahzad and make a decision to be publicised soon.

"ACB has well-equipped training and practice facilities within the country and Afghan players do not require to travel abroad for such purposes."

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced 20-year-old spinner Rashid Khan will become the nation's new captain across all three formats of the game.

Rashid has played 108 international fixtures for his country in a blossoming career that has also included headline-making stints in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League.

He has a big job on his hands, though, with a host of leadership changes having already happened in a difficult 2019 for Afghanistan that peaked with a winless run at the Cricket World Cup.

Rashid, who was already the nation's Twenty20 captain, will replace Rahmat Shah as Test skipper and will take over ODI duties from Gulbadin Naib.

"There are no issues in the team. We all play as one team and play only for the country," Rashid said in a statement.

"Whatever I am today, is because of this country and this team."

Asghar Afghan will serve as Rashid's vice-captain, the former controversially dumped from his role as ODI captain in April.

Rashid spoke out at the time, posting on Twitter that the decision to replace Afghan with Gulbadin was "irresponsible".

Gulbadin endured a difficult World Cup at the helm for Afghanistan, with the nation failing to win any of their nine matches at the tournament.

Afghanistan's best chance to win a match at the tournament came in a tense fixture against Pakistan in Leeds that went to the final over.

But Pakistan chased down a victory target of 228 with two balls to spare as Gulbadin – who finished with figures of 0-73 – was criticised for bringing himself back into the attack on multiple occasions.

Both Afghanistan bowler Aftab Alam and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad were sent home from the World Cup, too.

Alam was later hit with a one-year suspension from domestic and international cricket for falling foul of the team's code of conduct.

Shahzad's expulsion from the camp was, according to the Afghanistan Cricket Board, due to fitness, a suggestion denied by the player.

The Windies are scheduled to face off against Afghanistan in a full series set for India in November.

With the country granted Test status in 2017, one of the matches will include a Test, which is expected to begin on November 27.  The series will also include three One Day Internationals and three T20s.  The venue for the matches is, however, yet to be decided.

Afghanistan and the West Indies have played only 10 internationals between them, eight of those were held in the Caribbean. The West Indies lead Afghanistan 5-4 in the head-to-head, their most recent victory coming in the ICC World Cup 2019.

"As per the Future Tours Program (FTP), Afghanistan national team is scheduled to host West Indies for a tour from 5th November till 1st December in India. The series will include three T20Is, three ODIs and a one-off Test match," the Afghanistan Cricket Board said in a statement.

"Ahead of the series against West Indies, the national team is also scheduled to play a one-off test against Bangladesh in September followed by a triangular T20I series that will feature Bangladesh and Zimbabwe," it added.

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

The Cricket World Cup semi-final spots have been decided, with India, Australia, England and New Zealand into the final four.

But what of the half a dozen teams not to make it through?

Some arguably performed better than expected, while some – we're looking at you, West Indies and South Africa – were hugely disappointing.

For fans of those two sides, our World Cup report card may not make for pretty reading…

 

PAKISTAN (5th, W5 L3 N/R1)
RATING: C+

Ahead of the tournament, all the talk focused on their inconsistency and Sarfraz Ahmed's side lived up to their billing, summed up by their opening thrashing by the West Indies followed by a superb victory over favourites England. They were outclassed by Australia and India but finished strongly, winning four straight matches and only missed out on the semis due to their inferior net run rate, irreparably damaged by that Windies hammering. Mohammad Amir was excellent with the ball, picking up 17 wickets, while Babar Azam showed his class with the bat and Haris Sohail's form made a mockery of Pakistan's earlier faith in spent force Shoaib Malik.

SRI LANKA (6th, W3 L4 N/R2)
RATING: C

The Lions looked massively under-strength coming in, but they could argue that successive washouts against Pakistan and Bangladesh cost them a fairer shot at a top-four finish. The undoubted highlight was their stunning win over England, where veteran seamer Lasith Malinga rolled back the years. At the other end of the scale, 21-year-old Avishka Fernando hinted at a bright future with a marvellous hundred against the Windies in a dead rubber.

SOUTH AFRICA (7th, W3 L5 N/R1)
RATING: E

Even for a country with a long history of Cricket World Cup calamity, South Africa will look back on this campaign as a particularly miserable one. From AB de Villiers' attempted retirement U-turn just before the squad was announced to losing premier quick Dale Steyn to injury, the Proteas were in disarray before game one. A solitary point from their first four matches left them with too much to do as the likes of Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis failed to fill the void left by De Villiers in the top order.

BANGLADESH (8th, W3 L5 N/R1)
RATING: B+

A superb campaign – belied by their final position in the table – spearheaded by the remarkable performances of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who racked up 606 runs and took 11 wickets with his wily left-arm spin – the first player to score 500+ runs and claim 10+ dismissals at a World Cup. There were impressive wins against South Africa and West Indies while they ran New Zealand and India mighty close. On this evidence, the Tigers will be genuine contenders in India in 2023.

WEST INDIES (9th, W2 L6 N/R1)
RATING: F

Not bottom of the table, but certainly bottom of the class. A squad filled with giants capable of smashing 100-metre sixes and bowling 90+ mph, the Windies let themselves down badly at this tournament. An opening annihilation of Pakistan promised much, but – scintillating centuries from Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran aside – they failed to show the required application. Andre Russell's fitness issues caught up with him midway through the tournament, while 39-year-old Chris Gayle's intention to reverse his retirement looked a mistake. It is time to blood some fresh talent.

AFGHANISTAN (10th, W0 L9)
RATING: D

They may have finished as the only side without a point, but it is not all doom and gloom for Afghanistan. The tournament's lowest-ranked team improved as the campaign progressed, giving India and Pakistan almighty scares in agonisingly narrow defeats. A change of captaincy shortly before the finals, as well as knee-injury victim Mohammad Shahzad arguing against the decision to send him home and Aftab Alam's banishment for a disciplinary violation, will certainly have proved unwelcome distractions. The next World Cup in sub-continental conditions will surely suit a side with four years' more experience.

After five arduous weeks, the Cricket World Cup group stage has reached its climax and four teams are left standing.

Hosts and pre-tournament favourites England briefly flirted with a disappointing early exit before rallying to beat India and New Zealand and reach the last four.

Lying in wait are old rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, while India and New Zealand will do battle first in Manchester in two days' time.

But before we sit back and take in the final acts of a hugely enjoyable tournament, let's review the thrills and spills (and a couple of comedy moments) of an enthralling group stage.

 

Rihanna delights in Durham

Over a decade ago, Rihanna's smash hit 'Umbrella' enjoyed an extended stay at the top of the UK album charts but there was no need for the brollies at Durham as West Indies faced off with Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately, the Barbados-born popstar saw the Windies beaten by 23 runs, but there was a tearful reunion with assistant coach Roddy Eastwick – a former school teacher of Rihanna's. 


Bees create buzz at The Riverside

An unbroken 175-run stand between Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis stung Sri Lanka at The Riverside.

But it was a swarm of bees that created quite the buzz on social media. The honey-loving insects caused a sudden delay, with players having to hit the deck to take evasive action.


Roy clatters Wilson

We are very, very, very sorry Joel Wilson…but this was undoubtedly hilarious.

Jason Roy brought up a century in England's beating of Bangladesh but, while tracking the progress of the ball, did not see the poor, unaware umpire who was completely clattered by the opener in comical scenes.

Once back to his feet, a slightly sheepish Wilson saw the funny side.


Bairstow answers critics head on

England's defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia drew plenty of criticism at home, not least from Michael Vaughan, which led to an unsavoury back-and-forth with Jonny Bairstow.

But Bairstow responded in impressive fashion, making centuries against India and New Zealand to help England progress to the last four.

Celebrating that latter century, Bairstow rubbed his hair in a seemingly light-hearted jibe at Vaughan's previous treatment to bolster his hairline.


Stokes or Woakes?

Two stunning catches, but who did it better – Ben Stokes or Chris Woakes?

All-rounder Stokes plucked a stunning one-hander in the deep off Andile Phehlukwayo in the tournament's opening match between England and South Africa at The Oval.

Not to be outdone, Woakes took a brilliant full-length dive on the boundary to send Rishabh Pant packing in England's much-needed win over India. Superman, eat your heart out.


Hat-trick heroes

Afghanistan had the chance for a famous upset against India at the Rose Bowl. Twelve runs were needed off four deliveries…enter Mohammed Shami.

The paceman took the vital wicket of dangerman Mohammad Nabi and followed up with the scalps of Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to end Afghanistan's hopes. Three wickets in three balls.

New Zealand lost out to trans-Tasman rivals Australia at Lord's, but Trent Boult had individual reason to celebrate with a hat-trick of his own.

A stunning finish in the final over of Australia's innings saw Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff fall to full, in-swinging deliveries.

Boult, who has donated the ball to the MCC Museum, had to endure a nervy wait after a Behrendorff review.


Starc brilliance takes down Stokes

England made a dismal start in their pursuit of 286 against Australia at Lord's, slumping to 53-4.

Ben Stokes' courageous 89 threatened a fightback at the Home of Cricket. That was until Mitchell Starc's unplayable yorker swung in late to rattle the base of the stumps to end Stokes' resilience and England's chances of victory.


Pakistan deny Afghanistan

Afghanistan finished without a point after the group games but will rue a couple of missed opportunities – not least versus Pakistan, who slumped to 156-6 chasing 228 at Headingley. 

But captain Gulbadin Naib gave up 18 costly runs in the 46th over and Pakistan edged home with a couple of balls to spare against the underdogs in a dramatic finale.


Farewell Chris

Chris Gayle's final World Cup did not exactly go to plan. The explosive batsman made 242 runs from nine innings as West Indies – fancied by many to challenge – crashed out.

His final knock against Afghanistan yielded just seven runs, but there was time for some typical flamboyance when the charismatic Gayle celebrated a low catch with some press-ups.

A tidy turn with his occasional off-spin also yielded 1-28 and the 39-year-old lapped up the acclaim at stumps.

 West Indies batsman Shai Hope said the team’s underwhelming performance at the ICC World Cup will be a learning experience for him and the other young members of the team that ended their campaign on Thursday with a 23-run over Afghanistan.

West Indies finished on a high with a win over Afghanistan, but Jason Holder acknowledged they must be more consistent after a poor Cricket World Cup.

The Windies had not tasted victory since their first match of the tournament against Pakistan, back on May 31, ending their long wait for further success with a 23-run triumph.

But it was not just the failure to pick up the required results that frustrated captain Holder, who felt performances as a whole were not consistently up to scratch.

"I think inconsistency let us down, we were just inconsistent in the three departments," he said in the post-match presentation.

"Our fielding has a lot to improve. Our bowlers had a really good outing - credit to each and every bowler who put up their hand whenever called up - but the batting was very inconsistent as well.

"Going forward, we need to be a lot more consistent."

Chris Gayle was playing in his final World Cup match and his captain paid tribute to the opening batsman.

"It's hard to see him playing his last World Cup game, but I just personally want to say congratulations to Chris," Holder said.

"He's been an outstanding stalwart of the game for West Indies cricket and he's done leaps and bounds for our cricket. I want to wish him all the best in all his endeavours."

While the Windies said goodbye to a great, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib saw positives in the younger members of his squad, with 18-year-old Ikram Ali Khil making 86 in their unsuccessful run chase.

Gulbadin said: "Ali is a youngster, an under-19 boy, but he showed his class today - and we have a lot of talented youngsters back at home."

And Afghanistan's skipper hoped the team would be able to learn from the experience of a World Cup campaign in which they failed to collect a point.

"We want to come prepared in every department," he said. "Hopefully I can take a lot from this tournament, how you work on your team. I have learned a lot here."

West Indies signed off from the Cricket World Cup with a 23-run win over Afghanistan at Headingley - but Chris Gayle missed out on a place in the history books.

Victory meant the Caribbean side bookended their campaign in England with successes, having beaten Pakistan in their opener.

The rest of their campaign was better forgotten, however, and this could have provided another low moment until a mid-innings collapse from Afghanistan handed over the initiative.

Despite posting 311 for six, West Indies lost opener Gayle for seven. It was a third single-figure score of a disappointing World Cup for the veteran batsman and he finished the tournament as his team's fourth highest scorer.

And it meant he remains second on West Indies' all-time list of ODI run-scorers, stranded perhaps forever now 10 runs behind Brian Lara.

Gayle said before the World Cup this would be his goodbye to ODI cricket but the 39-year-old has since suggested he intends to play on. But in this sort of form, West Indies might do well to consider other options. 

This was surely a farewell to the World Cup for the showman and, after he was bogged down by Afghanistan's attack and looked to clout Dawlat Zadran over the off-side field, he nicked behind to Ikram Alikhil.

Evin Lewis showed better patience to make 58, Shai Hope plundered 77 and Nicholas Pooran scored 58 - with Gayle the only West Indies batsman to lose his wicket for a score below 30.

Afghanistan were then bowled out for 288, their chief contribution coming from 18-year-old Alikhil who reached 86 until he was defeated by Gayle's off spin.

 

Chris Gayle will be eyeing another record when West Indies and Afghanistan get the chance to exit the Cricket World Cup on a high note at Headingley on Thursday.

The Windies are guaranteed to finish second-bottom of the group above winless Afghanistan regardless of the result in Leeds.

Jason Holder's side started the tournament by hammering Pakistan but have not won since that seven-wicket success at Trent Bridge at the end of May.

Afghanistan have lost all eight matches and will be looking for only their second World Cup victory at the venue where they ran Pakistan close on Saturday.

Chris Gayle needs 18 runs to break Brian Lara's record for the most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player in what will be his final World Cup match - and possibly his last ODI. 

The Windies have lost six consecutive matches and will be desperate to bring that run to an end in their first World Cup clash with Afghanistan.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

The men from the Caribbean looked the real deal when they thumped Pakistan in Nottingham, but their slight semi-final hopes were ended with a big defeat to India at Old Trafford last Thursday. Sri Lanka then consigned them to a 23-run loss on Monday despite a Nicholas Pooran century.

A lack of runs has cost Afghanistan, who were agonisingly close to defeating India at the Rose Bowl and threatened to upset Pakistan but were unable to finish off the job.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

West Indies Assistant coach Roddy Estwick: "Obviously we're not happy losing games. But we started to build something, and once we can remain patient, we can keep building. Young players are coming through, and once that keeps happening then things will get a lot better."

Afghanistan Captain Gulbadin Naib: "We played last four, five games quite well. I'm happy with the performance of the team. It's all depending on our batting strength: if you've not batted well, maybe it's difficult for bowlers to defend a small total."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Afghanistan have won three of their previous four completed ODIs against West Indies, including two World Cup qualifiers in Harare last year.

- West Indies have played five ODIs at Headingley, losing three and winning two of those matches.

- Gayle is set to play his 295th ODI, equalling Brian Lara for joint-most caps in the history of the format for the Windies.

The battle for semi-final berths at the Cricket World Cup will go down to the wire in a thrilling final week full of permutations and possibilities.

Defending champions Australia are the only nation who have secured their spot in the last four, while only a crazy set of results would prevent India from joining them in the knockout stages.

But the battle between New Zealand, England, Pakistan and Bangladesh for the last two semi-final places is well and truly alive, Eoin Morgan's side breathing life into their campaign with a 31-run win over India on Sunday.

England's fluctuating form has been the subject of much debate across the cricket world and they need to beat third-placed New Zealand to guarantee their progression in the tournament. If England lose, they will rely on Bangladesh beating Pakistan on Friday.

New Zealand could still miss the top four, if they lose to England and other results go against them, while Bangladesh need to win both fixtures - against India and Pakistan - to stay alive.

FIXTURES

Monday 1 July: Sri Lanka v West Indies (The Riverside) - 1030 BST start

Tuesday 2 July: Bangladesh v India (Edgbaston) - 1030

Wednesday 3 July: England v New Zealand (The Riverside) - 1030

Thursday 4 July: Afghanistan v West Indies (Headingley) - 1030

Friday 5 July: Bangladesh v Pakistan (Lord's) - 1030

Saturday 6 July: Sri Lanka v India (Headingley) – 1030, Australia v South Africa (Old Trafford) - 1330

 

THE WEEK'S BIG GAME

Having produced in what was essentially a must-win game against India, all eyes will be on pre-tournament favourites England on Wednesday.

The stakes will again be very high and New Zealand have recent history on their side, having won their past five World Cup meetings against England.

The Black Caps demolished England by eight wickets with more than 37 overs remaining at the 2015 World Cup. England will need Jonny Bairstow to fire again with the bat against an impressive New Zealand attack.

STANDINGS

1.  Australia - 14pts from 8 games, Net Run Rate +1.000
2.  India - 11pts from 7 games, NRR +0.854
3.  New Zealand - 11pts from 8 games, NRR +0.572
4.  England - 10pts from 8 games, NRR +1.000
5.  Pakistan - 9pts from 8 games, NRR -0.792
6.  Bangladesh - 7pts from 7 games, NRR -0.133
7.  Sri Lanka - 6pts from 7 games, NRR -1.186
8.  South Africa - 5pts from 8 games, NRR -0.080
9.  West Indies - 3pts from 7 games, NRR -0.320
10. Afghanistan - 0pts from 8 games, NRR -1.418

LEADING RUN-SCORERS

1: David Warner (Aus) - 516
2: Aaron Finch (Aus) - 504
=3: Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), Joe Root (Eng) - 476

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

1: Mitchell Starc (Aus) - 24
2: Lockie Ferguson (NZ) - 17
=3: Mohammad Amir (Pak), Jofra Archer (Eng) - 16

At times, those in attendance for Pakistan versus Afghanistan on Saturday could have been forgiven for thinking they were watching a replay of Headingley's previous Cricket World Cup clash. 

Sarfraz Ahmed reserved special praise for Imad Wasim and hailed a collective team effort as Pakistan edged out Afghanistan to earn a crucial Cricket World Cup win at Headingley.

Shaheen Afridi became the first teenager to collect a four-wicket haul in the men's World Cup as Afghanistan posted 227-9 in Leeds.

Pakistan were ticking along nicely in reply despite the second-ball departure of Fakhar Zaman, but the quickfire losses of Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, after a 72-run stand, saw nerves creep in.

Afghanistan had Pakistan rocking at 156-6, only for Imad's measured 54-ball 49 to see his side home. 

"I think this is a great win for us. This is not an easy pitch to bat on but Imad Wasim, the way he batted and handled the pressure, hats off to him," said Sarfraz in the post-match presentation.

"I think for us Babar and Imad played really well. We needed partnerships but in the end we finished well. Everyone chipped in. It's a team win today."

On Shaheen's efforts with the ball, Sarfraz added: "We all know he's a good bowler. He's improving day by day and working really hard. He bowled really well."

Victory lifts Pakistan into fourth and increases the pressure on hosts England, who face India at Edgbaston on Sunday needing a win to climb back above Sarfraz's men.

"I'm maybe not thinking about that," Sarfraz added. "I don't know if we will all be watching. Hopefully the Indians win."

Afghanistan remain winless and Gulbadin Naib recognised it was another game his side let slip through the net.

"We fought really well. The boys gave it 100 per cent but, again, in the end we missed an opportunity to win the match," he said.

"Credit goes to the Pakistan side. In the end, they controlled their nerves. Imad played really well.

"Obviously when you are playing these kind of matches against these kind of teams you can face a lot of these kind of situations.

"But we will work harder and harder. We have lost the matches at the end of the innings and we are improving."

Gulbadin believes Afghanistan's main issue has been batsmen not posting big enough totals.

"I said at the start of the tournament that 30 or 40 is not a big enough score for the batsmen," he added.

"To put a good total on the board you need 60s and 70s and a hundred. Then you can put a good total on the board.

"This is not enough scoring from the batsman, including me. We are learning a lot in this format and I hope we will do well in the future."

Pakistan's thrilling win over Afghanistan was tarnished by ugly crowd scenes towards the end of their Cricket World Cup encounter at Headingley on Saturday.

Sarfraz Ahmed's side moved into the semi-final places courtesy of the victory, which was fervently celebrated by their passionate supporters in Leeds.

Both sets of fans had clashed earlier in the day, some turning up without tickets before attempting to enter the ground by other means.

And as Pakistan's chase reached its dramatic conclusion, there were more scuffles among spectators on the Western Terrace, close to the Carnegie Pavilion.

Imad Wasim then struck the winning runs with just two balls remaining, prompting a number of fans to run onto the field.

Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi appeared to be accidentally rugby tackled by one steward, while his team-mate Hashmatullah Shahidi looked to come into contact with a supporter as he left the playing area.

Plastic bottles were thrown in the direction of Pakistan followers and there were further confrontations outside the ground, where police and stewards worked to clear fans away from the Kirkstall Lane area immediately behind the pavilion.

Following the initial disturbances, an ICC statement read: "We are aware of some scuffles among a minority of fans and are currently working with the venue security team and the local police force, West Yorkshire Police, to ensure there are no further incidents.

"We do not condone this type of behaviour, and will take appropriate action against any anti-social behaviour that spoils the enjoyment for the majority of fans."

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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