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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Afghanistan too strong for Uganda in T20 World Cup 2024 clash

Guyana: Fazalhaq Farooqi gave Afghanistan the perfect start dismissing Ronak Patel (4) and Roger Mukasa (0) off back-to-back deliveries. While he missed out on a hat-trick, with Riazat Ali Shah surviving by the barest of margins, Afghanistan had their third when Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Simon Ssezai for 4.

When Naveen-ul-Haq the third bowler to be introduced in the game, picked two wickets in his first over, Uganda were in dire straits at 18/5.

A brief stand between Riazat Ali and Robinson Obuya steadied the ship temporarily, but Farooqi returned to deliver further blows and strengthen Afghanistan’s grasp on the game. Farooqi finished with 5/9, while the finishing blows were delivered by skipper Rashid Khan.

Farooqi was named Player of the Match for his electric performance. His figures were the fourth best in a Men’s T20 World Cup.

Brian Masaba won the toss and elected to bowl first. Masaba wanted to restrict Afghanistan to a chaseable total.

Afghanistan openers took off in no time, taking advantage of decent batting conditions, where the ball came onto the bat and the outfield was good. Lack of discipline from Uganda in the field also helped add to the Afghanistan total. Gurbaz took the lead initially, but Zadran joined him soon after hitting four fours in a row in the sixth over. Afghanistan were going at 11 runs an over at the end of first powerplay.

The flurry of boundaries continued for Gurbaz and Zadran as the Uganda bowlers found the going tough against to set batters. Gurbaz brought up his fifty in the ninth over, his first-ever in T20 World Cups, hitting four sixes and two fours on the way.

Afghanistan had already crossed the 100-run mark by the 10th over. An eventful 25-run over from Bilal Shah, that included five no balls and five wides, helped Afghanistan pace past 150. Finally, it was Brian Masaba who brought Uganda their first wicket in the competition, getting one to stay low and cleaning up Ibrahim Zadran.

Experienced tweaker Alpesh Ramjani and Masaba then picked two more over the next couple of overs to clean up the Afghanistan top-order. The Cricket Cranes got their act right in the death, conceding 22 runs for merely three wickets in the final four overs.

Courtesy: ICC


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