England vs Afghanistan, 13th Match, Afghanistan won by 69 runs

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Oct 15, 2023 - 23:18
Oct 15, 2023 - 23:23

A 14-match losing streak in World Cups came to an end for Afghanistan whose spinners drove them to a famous win against England in Delhi on Sunday (October 15). Chasing an under-par target of 285, the defending champions were derailed by Afghanistan's spinners who shared eight of the ten wickets to fall.

With dew expected on a decent batting pitch, England would have fancied their chances of notching up a comfortable win. Be that as it may, Fazalhaq Farooqi set the tone early for Afghanistan by taking out Jonny Bairstow with a sharp inswinger. The LBW call, albeit marginal, was the perfect start for the Asian side who required early wickets to gouge England's strong batting line-up. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who had earlier created a priceless cameo down the request, then got the massive wicket of Joe Root to ensure that Afghanistan was hanging around for a big battle.

Contrary to the earlier games in Delhi, the surface for today assisted spin significantly more and that played solidly into Afghanistan's hands, given their outrageous reliance on the spinners. Veteran Mohammad Nabi soon joined the act as he dislodged Dawid Malan who appeared to be the critical batter for England in this run chase. The spinners were getting sufficient hold off the deck and some go to inconvenience England's batters who were clearly taken aback by Afghanistan's assault.

Harry Brook looked promising and held one end up yet continued to run out of partners at the flip side. England were still in the game, given the conditions and their batting profundity. With dew inevitable, the title holders expected to get the game profound so that they could exploit the wet conditions later on. Yet, that didn't work out as expected as wickets continued to fall regularly. Naveen-ul-Haq's pinch backer to castle Jos Buttler was a massive second in the game, considering the England's captain's ability to finish games at the back end.

Rashid soon eliminated the dangerous Liam Livingstone too as Afghanistan started to wear the pants in the contest. That England didn't have a single half-century stand sums up their batting exertion in the run chase. Brook faced a lone conflict at his end and for some time it seemed like Chris Woakes could give him the necessary support to take the game profound. Be that as it may, Mujeeb returned and cleaned up Woakes prior to inflicting the game-sealing breakthrough of Brook. From that point on, it was only about the margin of defeat for England as Afghanistan created history.

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan got to their highest-ever World Cup score while batting first, thanks to fifties from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ikram Alikhil. The previous set the tone with a blistering thump upfront, particularly making full use of the first Powerplay in which Afghanistan racked up 79 runs. Great batting conditions, another ball and a shorter boundary toward one side meant that batters could make joyful, particularly in terms of boundary-hitting. Gurbaz along with his opening partner Ibrahim Zadran created a century stand to give Afghanistan the perfect start for a big score.

The platform was laid for a total in excess of 325 yet England retaliated through their spinners. Adil Rashid used all his experience to exploit the conditions on offer to set off a mini collapse. Rahmat Shah was stumped off a wily leg break while a silly run out saw the finish of Gurbaz who missed out on a deserving hundred years. Apart from Rashid, Livingstone and Root also contributed successfully to create problems for Afghanistan's batters. Wickets continued to fall and for some time, it seemed like a repeat of their batting performance against India.

Be that as it may, Ikram Alikhil in his first World Cup game created an invaluable fifty and shored up the innings with the lower request. Rashid and Mujeeb showed up with useful cameos as the lower request got Afghanistan to their best total in World Cups while batting first. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi wanted a score in the vicinity of 300 at the toss and it seemed like the total of 284 was a bit under-par. However, Afghanistan's spinners rose to the challenge and created sufficient damage to ensure that the game was virtually done when dew came into the scene

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