World Cup 2023: Afghanistan defeated reigning champions England by 69 Runs
By siliconindia | Monday, 16 October 2023, 09:02:23 AM IST
Afghanistan beat the defending champions, England, by 69 runs at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, giving the 2023 Men's ODI World Cup the win it sorely needed after a string of one-sided games, with a healthy amount of support for them in the crowd. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ikram Alikhil slammed half-centuries in carrying Afghanistan to 284 in 49.5 overs. In defence, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took three wickets each in an impressive bowling performance to bowl out England for 215 in 40.5 overs.
With this, Afghanistan ended their 14-match losing streak in World Cups with the biggest win of their ODI history to date, to send shockwaves in the tournament as well as in the cricketing world. Afghanistan is now at sixth place in the points table, just behind England, while Australia is now at the bottom of the ten-team tally. Chasing 285, England was dealt an early blow when Jonny Bairstow was trapped lbw on the first ball of Fazalhaq Farooqui, which he reviewed immediately. The replay showed the ball clipping leg-stump on the umpire’s call, meaning England retained review, but lost Bairstow.
Though Dawid Malan and Joe Root picked some boundaries, Farooqui continued to bowl probing line and length like he squared up Malan, hit him on pads, then beat him. Afghanistan increased pressure on England when Mujeeb Ur Rahman castled Root with a googly that stayed low. Malan and Harry Brook tried stabilizing the chase with strike-rotation and a few boundaries, but Mohammad Nabi took out the former by deceiving him with an outside off-stump delivery which he chipped straight to short extra cover.
Naveen-ul-Haq produced a peach of a delivery fuller ball coming in from wide outside the off-stump to castle Jos Buttler through the gate. Rashid Khan entered the wicket-takers list by trapping Liam Livingstone plumb lbw with a straighter delivery. Livingstone tried to overturn it, but it went in vain. With Brook at the crease and striking boundaries whenever deliveries either wide or overpitched were given to reach his fifty in 35 balls, England held their hopes high. But with boundaries drying up, Nabi struck by using dip, turn, and bounce to draw Sam Curran forward and get his edge to slip.
Chris Woakes survived an lbw appeal against Mujeeb, but the spinner finally got his man when he got the googly to go past the inside edge and crashed into the off-stump. Mujeeb struck the killer blow by having Brook nick behind a quicker carrom ball to Ikram Alikhil. Rashid had Adil Rashid caught at slip, and despite Reece Topley delaying the inevitable, the leg-spinner castled Mark Wood to send the crowd into a jubilant frenzy.
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