T20 World Cup: Afghanistan register sensational 84-run win over New Zealand

Afghanistan defeated New Zealand by 84 runs in a T20 World Cup Group C match on the back of excellent bowling by captain Rashid Khan and Fazalhaq Farooqui followed by aggressive batting by Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

New Zealand won the toss and decided to field first. Afghanistan scored 159 runs for six wickets on the basis of a 103-run partnership for the first wicket between Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran.

Gurbaz, who played for IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, scored 80 runs in 56 balls with the help of five fours and five sixes. Ibrahim was out after scoring 44 runs in 41 balls.

In reply, New Zealand were bowled out for 75 in 15.2 overs, their fourth-lowest score in T20 cricket. Farooqi and Rashid both took four wickets each for 17 runs each. Gurbaz and Ibrahim had shared a 154-run partnership in the 125-run win over Uganda in the first match.

This is the third pair and the first opening pair to make two consecutive century partnerships in the T20 World Cup. Both batted till the 15th over until Ibrahim was out. Gurbaz returned to the pavilion in the 20th over.

The New Zealand team, which has reached at least the semi-finals in the last six limited-overs World Cups, is considered one of the strong contenders for the title. However, it has not played any practice matches and most of the Kiwi players have not played competitive cricket for many days.

They dropped many catches, committed overthrows and were lax in fielding. After ten overs, Afghanistan’s score was 55 runs without loss. After that Ibrahim and Gurbaz adopted an aggressive approach and increased the run rate rapidly and 104 runs were scored in the last ten overs. For New Zealand, only two batsmen Glenn Phillips (18) and Matt Henry (12) could reach double figures.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.

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