Afghanistan scores upset victory over New Zealand – Newspaper

bulletin

GEORGETOWN (Guyana): Rampant Afghanistan mauled a lethargic New Zealand by 84 runs to claim top spot in Group ‘C’ at the T20 World Cup with a shock win at the Providence Stadium on Friday.

Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80) and Ibrahim Zadrau (44) combined for 103 runs to take Afghanistan to a total of 159-6, before their bowlers fully exploited a pitch and supported both the pace and spin – left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi and captain Rashid Khan took four wickets each as New Zealand were bowled out for just 75.

Farooqi followed his demolition of Uganda in the opening five-wicket match with the first three wickets of the New Zealand innings before coming back to claim a fourth to end the match and complete the figures of 4-17.

Champion leg-spinner Rashid shared the bowling honors with an identical score of 4-17, including opposite number Kane Williamson with the first ball of his spell, effectively ending the match as a contest.

“One of the best performances from us in T20I cricket against a big team. It’s a great team effort,” Rashid said after the win. “Great win for Afghanistan and it’s a privilege to lead this team and win against New Zealand… It started from the batting, with how Ibrahim and Gurbaz ran.

“We have to commit 100%, losing or winning doesn’t matter to me. This is how we prepare. If we don’t give 100%, we miss something. For me it’s not so much about the result, it’s about the effort.”

New Zealand’s capitulation and apparent rustiness mean the defeated 2021 finalists have a tough challenge ahead, starting against hosts West Indies next Wednesday at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad.

“This just wasn’t good enough when it comes to starting a tournament. It’s very frustrating,” admitted Williamson, as he reflected on a forgettable night for New Zealand cricket.

“We have to get rid of this quickly because the games are coming thick and fast for us now. Yes, we have to learn from so much that has gone wrong without over-analyzing, but we have to turn it around as quickly as possible,” he added.

After Williamson opted to play first, left-arm bowler Trent Boult took the new ball, while Lockie Ferguson opened from the other end, and got three boundaries in a row against Zadran.

New Zealand would have been relatively happy with Afghanistan at 55 for two midway through the stage, but the two openers then continued the attack.

Zadran hit off-spinner Michael Bracewell for a pair of sixes and Gurbaz cracked Boult for another six as the pace bowler returned.

The New Zealanders finally took a wicket when Matt Henry bowled Zadran, and Henry took a second wicket when Azmatullah Omazari was caught by Ferguson for 22. Boult returned to take two wickets in the final with a run-out.

New Zealand were immediately in trouble when they lost Allen on the first ball of their innings, having their leg stumped by a ball from Fazalhaq Farooqi that crossed back from the seam.

His opening partner Conway followed for eight and Daryl Mitchell trailed for five minutes, leaving New Zealand parlous 28-3.

Rashid picked up the ball and struck in his first over, dismissing Mark Chapman for four and Michael Bracewell with his next delivery.

He then dismissed his counterpart, Williamson was caught at slip and New Zealand were eventually bowled out after 15.2 overs for their second-lowest T20 score ever.

Scoreboards

Afghanistan vs New Zealand

AFGHANISTAN:

Rahmanullah Gurbaz b Boult 80

Ibrahim Zadran b Henry 44

Azmatullah Omarzai c Ferguson b Henry 22

Mohammad Nabi c Williamson b Ferguson 0

Rashid Khan runs out (Conway) 6

Karim Janat not out 1

Gulbadin Naib c Phillips b Boult 0

Najibullah Zadran not out 1

EXTRAS (LB-5) 5

TOTAL (for six wickets, 20 overs) 159

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-103 (Ibrahim), 2-127 (Omarzai), 3-136 (Nabi), 4-156 (Rashid), 5-156 (Gurbaz), 6-158 (Naib)

NOT BAT: Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

BOWLING: Boult 4-0-22-2; Henry 4-0-37-2; Santner 4-0-24-0; Bracewell 3-0-27-0; Ferguson 4-0-28-1; Mitchell 1-0-16-0

NEW ZEALAND:

F. Allen b Farooqi 0

D. Conway c Ibrahim b Farooqi 8

K. Williamson c Naib b Rashid 9

D. Mitchell c Gurbaz b Farooqi 5

G. Phillips c Rashid b Nabi 18

M. Chapman b Rashid 4

M. Bracewell lbw Rashid 0

M. Santner b Nabi 4

M. Henry c Janat b Farooqi 12

L.Ferguson c & b Rashid 2

T. Boult not out 3

EXTRAS (LB-5, W-5) 10

TOTAL (all out, 15.2 overs) 75

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Allen), 2-18 (Conway), 3-28 (Mitchell), 4-33 (Williamson), 5-43 (Chapman), 6-43 (Bracewell), 7-53 ( Phillips), 8-59 (Santner), 9-63 (Ferguson)

BOWLING: Farooqi 3.2-0-17-4 (3w); Nabi 4-0-16-2; Naveen 3-0-10-0; Rashid 4-0-17-4 (2w); Ahmad 1-0-10-0

RESULT: Afghanistan won by 84 runs.

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan)

Published in Dawn, June 9, 2024