Afghanistan trounce Scotland by 130 runs
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP):
Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and leg-spinner Rashid Khan bowled out Scotland for 60 as Afghanistan started the T20 World Cup with a massive 130-run victory yesterday.
Mujeeb claimed three wickets in an over to finish with 5-20, while Rashid (4-9) ran through the tail quickly to dismiss Scotland in just 10.2 overs and raise Afghanistan’s biggest win in a T20 cricket match.
Afghanistan had earlier posted a daunting total of 190-5 in their opening Group Two match, after skipper Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat.
“This was our plan, to bat first and put a big score,” Nabi said with a broad smile at the presentation ceremony. “Our openers started really well and finished the powerplay with a good score. Everyone knows Rashid and Mujeeb are among the best (bowlers) in the world.”
All of Afghanistan’s top-order batsmen were among the runs and hit big sixes, with Najibullah Zadran leading the way by scoring 59 off 34 balls.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46) smashed four sixes, while opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai (44) hit three sixes and three fours to set the tone for a big total.
Scotland had upset Bangladesh in the qualifiers and advanced with convincing victories over first-timers Papua New Guinea and co-hosts Oman.
Opener George Munsey (25) started the run chase in style by reverse sweeping offspinner Nabi for a six and a four in the first over, as they raced to 27-0 in three overs. But the wheels came off quickly in the fourth over when Mujeeb grabbed three wickets off five deliveries.
Mujeeb had Coetzer clean bowled, and followed it up by trapping Calum MacLeod lbw on the back foot off the next ball. Richie Berrington was out soon after, when Mujeeb had him leg before wicket – again on the back foot.
Recalled wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad then took a stunning, diving catch to his right to dismiss Matthew Cross off fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, before Mujeeb made it 37-5 in no time when he rattled Munsey’s stump in his next over.
Rashid resigned from the captaincy before the tournament, saying he had not been consulted on the team selection. But the leg-spinner befuddled Scotland’s tailenders in a 14-ball spell by claiming four wickets to wrap up the big win.
“We have been playing some good cricket to get here, but sometimes things don’t go to plan,” Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer said. “We have to keep moving forward.”
Pakistan, which routed arch-rivals India by 10 wickets on Sunday, and Namibia are the other teams in the same group.
Hazratullah Zazai b Watt 44
Mohammad Shahzad c Greaves b Sharif 22
Rahmanullah Gurbaz c Coetzer b Davey 46
Nazibullah Zadran c Wheal b Sharif 59
Mohammad Nabi not out 11
Extras (LB-3, WD-5) 8
Total (For 4 wickets in 20 overs) 190
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-82, 3-169, 4-190
Bowling: Brad Wheal 4-0-42-0, Michael Leask 1-0-18-0, Safyaan Sharif 4-0-33-2, Josh Davey 4-0-41-0, Mark Watt 4-0-23-1, Chris Greaves 3-0-30-0.
George Munsey b Mujeeb 25
Kyle Coetzer b Mujeeb 10
Calum MacLeod lbw b Mujeeb 0
Richie Berrington lbw b Mujeeb 0
Matthew Cross c M Shahzad b Naveen-ul-Haq 0
Michael Leask lbw b R Khan 0
Chris Greaves lbw b R Khan 12
Mark Watt b Mujeeb 1
Josh Davey lbw b R Khan 4
Safyaan Sharif not out 3
Brad Wheal b R Khan 0
Extras: (LB-2,W-3) 5
Total: (All out in 10.2 overs) 60
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-28, 4-30, 5-36, 6-38, 7-45, 8-53, 9-60, 10-60
Bowling: Mohammad Nabi 1-0-11-0, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 4-0-20-5, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-0-12-1, Rashid Khan 2.2-0-9-4, Karim Janat 1-0-6-0.