Afghanistan finally opened their account in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup after defeating England by 69 runs at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday, October 15. The defending champions faltered in their chase of a reasonable 285-run target set by Afghanistan. Hashmatullah Shahidi and his men ran riot in the second innings, thanks to their exceptional bowling display. Fazalhaq Farooqi struck early in the second over to dismiss opener Jonny Bairstow (2), which was an indication of trouble for England.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman then dismissed Joe Root for just 11 runs in the seventh over. Mohammad Nabi then struck for Afghanistan, claiming the crucial wicket of Dawid Malan in the 13th over, leaving England at 68/3. Naveen-ul-Haq was the next one to give another breakthrough for the side, removing captain Jos Buttler when the wicketkeeper-batter’s cover drive was beaten between bat and pad, and the ball went on to hit the top of the off stump.
Rashid Khan then got into the act as he got the wicket of Liam Livingstone in the 21st over, and England were seen in all sorts of trouble at 117/5. The remaining batters were equally tested by Afghanistan’s bowling assault, as they were restricted to 215 in just 40.5 overs. Rashid and Mujeeb finished with three scalps each, while Nabi picked up two wickets to help their side seal their first win in the ongoing competition.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Afghanistan accumulated a substantial 284 on the board. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran got things going by giving Afghanistan a fantastic start and scoring 114 runs for the opening wicket. However, in the 17th over, Adil Rashid ended the partnership by removing Zadran for 28 runs.
Gurbaz continued his powerful assault against England bowlers, scoring 80 off a mere 57 balls before being run out by substitute fielder David Willey. Following that, Afghanistan experienced a mini-collapse in their innings. However, Ikram Alikhil contributed a significant half-century to help Afghanistan post a reasonable total. The wicketkeeper-batter smacked 58 off 66 deliveries, including three boundaries and two maximums.
Afghanistan’s victory over England was a major upset and a sign of their growing strength in world cricket. The team played with great skill and determination, and they deserve full credit for their performance. England, on the other hand, will need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to improve their batting, which has been a major concern for them throughout the tournament.
— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) October 15, 2023
Congratulations to AfghanAtalan for the historic victory over @englandcricket at the ICC #CWC23. Well done to @RGurbaz_21, @ikramalikhil15, @Mujeeb_R88, @MohammadNabi007, @rashidkhan_19, @Hashmat_50 and all others. Incredible stuff! #CWC23 #AfghanAtalan pic.twitter.com/KQXzwnjpnZ
— Mirwais Ashraf (@MirwaisAshraf16) October 15, 2023
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 15, 2023
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 15, 2023
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) October 15, 2023
Afganistan win against the world champions England is such a positive for world cricket. Gurbaz, Mujeeb, Rashid, nabi mein bahut daam hai. Happy for the passionate Afganistan fans who never give up on their team. ❤️ #ENGvAFG #ICCCricketWorldCup23 pic.twitter.com/LUHshfYeqU
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) October 15, 2023
Bahot mubarak Apko Afghanistan. You out played England every department. Gurbazzaaaa you were amazing 👏 Ikram Alikhil looked good in the middle overs. Bowling has been top notch from Afghans. #ENGvAFG
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 15, 2023
Big day for Afghanistan cricket!
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 15, 2023