ICC T20 World Cup: England works hard for first win

Many thought Australia and England will thrash their opponents as title favorites of ICC T20 World Cup but England had to work hard for their first win.

England manages to eek out past Afghanistan in ICC T20 World Cup match
England manages to eek out past Afghanistan in ICC T20 World Cup match

ICC T20 World Cup Super12 matches have started with a huge bang just like the early qualifier round. Sri Lanka, Ireland and Netherlands, Zimbabwe have qualified into Group 1 and Group 2, respectively from qualifying round. Australia took on New Zealand and England played against Afghanistan on 22nd October. Many thought Australia and England will thrash their opponents as title favorites of ICC T20 World Cup but England had to work hard for their first win.

Afghanistan team lost the toss and had to bat first. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (10) fell in the third over and another opener Hazratullah Zazai (7) struggled to score runs. Ibrahim Zadran (32) and Usman Ghani (30) came together to put up a partnership but score moved at a snail pace. England pacer Sam Curran did not let even the big hitters like Rashid Khan (0), Azmatullah Omarzai (8) bat freely after dismissing Ibrahim Zadran. Captain Mohammad Nabi (3) and Najibullah Zadran (13) also failed to score. Sam Curran took 5 wickets in his 3.4 overs by just giving away 10 runs. Ben Stokes (2/19), Mark Wood (2/23) and Chris Woakes (1/23) restricted Afghanistan from ball one bowled them out in 19.4 overs for meagre 112. England bowlers made a huge statement at Perth, in ICC World Cup T20 that they won’t be easy to score off.

Sam Curran took 5/10 for England against Afghanistan
Sam Curran took 5/10 for England against Afghanistan

England batsmen on the other hand found it difficult to knock off that target of 113 runs. Jos Buttler (18), Alex Hales (19) kind of in-form batsmen found it hard to score freely against Afghan bowlers. Dawid Malan (18) too struggled against the slow pace and spin of Afghanistan. Liam Livingstone (29) could only manage to score 3 boundaries in an England team innings that had 6 fours and one six, scored through-out, completely unlike their previous games. Rashid Khan (1/17), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1/22), Mohammad Nabi (1/16) successfully restricted the scoring but Fareed Ahmad (1/23), Fazalhaq Farooqi (1/24), Azmatullah Omarzai leaked runs. England managed to cross the winning line by scoring 113/5 in 18.1 overs and 12 wide’s helped them, in the task. Sam Curran won the Player of the Match title for his 5/10 effort.

ICC T20 World Cup has become interesting as Associate Nations have announced that they are not at the World Cup to warm benches but to compete and this is a great beginning. India and Pakistan will take on each other at Melbourne, on 23rd October.

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