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इंडियन आवाज़     30 May 2024 06:05:53      انڈین آواز

Afghanistan create history stun defending champion England in ICC World Cup

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Harpal Singh Bedi

Unheralded Afghanistan created history and the biggest upset as they stunned defending champion England by 69 runs to register their only second win in the ICC World Cup after a gap of eight years, at the Arun Jaitely Stadium here today.


This was second defeat for England and first win for Afghanistan in three outing the two teams have played so far in this World Cup.


 Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz 80 (57 balls),pacer Mujib Ur Rahman (3 for 51) and Spinner Rashid Khan (3 for 37) were the  architect of this biggest upset of this World Cup as Afghanistan’s  chalked out their second win in 18 World Cup matches they have played so far since 2015.Their first and only win ,till this one, was  against Scotland in World Cup held in Australia. Put into bat, Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s swashbuckling 57-ball 80 and his 114 run first wicket stand with Ibrahim Zadran,(28) dented the famed England bowling as Afghanistan put up a fighting 284 before being all out in 49.5 overs.  In reply England were bundled out for 215 in 40.3 overs.

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Interestingly Afghanistan’s total was only 12 runs more than they managed on Wednesday night, in a match against India’s which the hosts won with 15 overs to spare.


 With nothing to lose and everything to gain situation, the Afghans ran riot as they took on England’s batting with an disciplined bowling display and suddenly the defending champions looked very vulnerable.


Chasing 285 for a win, England came under pressure from the stat as they lost Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root cheaply as Bairstow was dismissed by Fazalhaq Farooqi for 2, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman cleaned up Joe Root for 11(17). Then Mohammad Nabi had Dawid Malan (32,4×4) chipping to short cover to Ibrahim Zadran and they were reeling at 68 for three.   Sensing sensational win ,the Afghans upped the ante and England batters looked clueless against the Pace and Spin attack. Henry Brook tried to halt the slide by scoring 66 (61 b,7×4,1×4) but he was undone by Mujib who had the batter caught by bkram and England threw in the towel.  Butler (9) Livingstone (10),S.Curren (10) C.Wokes  (9)  Rashid  (20) Wood (18) and Topley (15) contributed to England’s total of 215.


Earlier openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s and Ibrahim Zadran made their intentions clear as they went after the Enland bowling hammering them all over the ground   Adil Rashid broke the partnership, following which Afghanistan endured a mini-collapse as they were reduced to 122/3 in 18.5 overs.


 The wickets continued to tumble until the Afghan lower order surprised everybody. Undaunted by their rival’s reputation ,Rashid Khan and Ikram Alikhil took control and batted fearlessly. Rashid played some stylish shot but was outdone by a brilliant effort by Joe Root at long-on. He fell for 23(22,3×4). Alikhil scored 58(66) before getting out to Reece Topley, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman hammered 28 in 16 balls.
 However, Spinners came to the rescue of England taking five wickets while conceding 3.91 runs per over. Adil Rashid figures of 3 for 42 are his best at a World Cup. Liam Livingstone was also effective, he took only one wicket but was the most economical among the England bowlers, conceding 33 runs in his full quota of overs-bowling 10 overs for the first time in his ODI career. while Mark Wood struck twice. Joe Root and Reece Topley claimed a wicket each.


 England seamers on the other hand leaked runs, particularly Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, whose eight overs cost 87 between them. With Ben Stokes not expected to bowl a ball in this tournament, Curran and Woakes have both been exposed on a good batting surface.

So far Woakes took the new ball but bowled wide outside off stump to protect the short leg-side boundary and being driven through the infield. And Curran was smashed at the death, conceding 18 runs in the 46th over as Mujeeb Ur Rahman took him down to cleaners.
England fielded an unchanged playing XI, while Afghanistan, on the other hand, made one change as Ikram Ali Khil replaces Najibullah Zadran.
England came into this match after a strong 137-run victory over Bangladesh. The Three Lions, however, were given a reality check in the tournament opener as New Zealand had made a mockery of the stiff 283-run target and won the contest by nine wickets.

Afghanistan: 284 all out in 49.5 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 80, Ikram Alikhil 58; Adil Rashid 3/42).England 215 all out 40.3 overs (Harry Brook 66,Dawid Malan 32,Rashid Khan 3 for 37,Mujeeb 3 for 51, Nabi 2 for 16

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