Rashid, Fazalhaq and Gurbaz rout undercooked New Zealand - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Rashid, Fazalhaq and Gurbaz rout undercooked New Zealand

 Both Rashid and Farooqi picked four wickets each.

Both Rashid and Farooqi picked four wickets each. © Getty

Afghanistan produced a statement-making performance in Guyana in a rout of New Zealand, a team fancied to go deep pre-tournament, by 84 runs to take control of Group C, from where they are now heavy favourites to progress. Put in to bat, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80 off 56) and Ibrahim Zadran (44 off 41) registered a second successive century stand to fuel Afghanistan's total of 159. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Rashid Khan then returned identical figures of 4 for 17 as an undercooked Black Caps side not only caved for 75 in the chase but also ended up losing a lot of ground on the Net Run Rate race.

Where was the game won: In the PowerPlay

Fazalhaq struck with the first ball and struck two more times in his first spell as New Zealand floundered to 33/3 in the PowerPlay. With a growing asking rate to contend with, they kept sliding and folded in 15.2 overs. In the corresponding phase, Afghanistan enjoyed some luck but despite not being over-aggressive in conditions that had some lateral movement and some two-pace behaviour, they set themselves up to score big by stitching a partnership and then applied scoreboard pressure on the Black Caps.

-AfghanistanNew Zealand
Score44/033/3
Run Rate7.335.5
4s/6s6/03/0

Afghanistan

PowerPlay: Steady beginnings after being asked to bat

Phase Score: 44/0 (RR: 7.33, 4s/6s: 6/0)

Fortune was on Afghanistan's corner early in the contest as they raced to 21 after two overs with three boundaries being scored off Matt Henry's second over, two of them via edges. In the fourth over, a Mitchell Santner delivery even brushed the leg-stump but raced away to the fine-leg fence without dislodging the bails. Gurbaz was on 12 then and in the company of Ibrahim Zadran, he propped Afghanistan to a steady PowerPlay total of 44. Like Gurbaz, Zadran too was reprieved when Finn Allen put down a simple catch at deep square leg.

Middle Overs: A period of stasis and then a six deluge

Phase Score: 62/1 (RR: 6.88, 4s/6s: 0/5)

New Zealand strangled their opponents through the first part of the middle-overs phase as Afghanistan's openers went through a 27-ball period without scoring a boundary. However, Afghanistan enjoyed more of the rub of the green with Zadran first surviving a run-out attempt at the non-striker's end. In the same Lockie Ferguson over, Gurbaz survived after New Zealand failed to review an LBW decision. The Black Caps continued to be sloppy rusty on the field with even Kane Williamson putting down a catch. But the four overs post the PowerPlay brought Afghanistan just 11 runs.

The tide turned in the 11th over when Michael Bracewell was taken apart for three sixes after conceding just six runs from his first two overs. Both Ferguson and Boult conceded a six each in the following overs. Mitchell Santner (0 for 24) stemmed the deluge a bit and Henry cashed in by having Ibrahim Zadran chop one onto his stumps, ending a 103-run opening stand.

Death Overs: Afghanistan's charge briefly halted by an excellent 20th over from Boult

Phase Score: 53/5 (RR: 10.6, 4s/6s: 4/4)

Azmatullah Omarzai played a useful cameo at the death, hitting two sixes in a 13-ball 22. Gurbaz continued to motor post his half-century and hit a pair of fours against Ferguson before cashing in on Williamson's decision to bowl an over of Daryl Mitchell to cover for Bracewell by hitting the medium-pacer over long-on and long-off for two sixes, holding his pose on each occasion. Afghanistan were set for a total in the range of 170 but Trent Boult produced a stunning final over giving away just 3 runs. First, Rashid Khan was run-out with Gurbaz trying to get on strike. Boult then cleaned up the in-form batter for 80 with a searing yorker. Gulbadin Naib was the other batter to fall, miscuing a pull, as Afghanistan finished on 159.

New Zealand

PowerPlay: Fazalhaq rocks the chase

Phase Score: 33/3 (RR: 5.5. 4s/6s: 3/0)

The tone for Afghanistan's target defence was set as early as the first ball of the second innings as Fazalhaq Farooqi produced a beautiful inswinger to castle Finn Allen. That brought two batters with very little T20 cricket under their belt in the middle simultaneously. Williamson and Devon Conway couldn't land an immediate counter-punch and that was enough for Farooqi, fresh off a five-fer, to run the Black Caps ragged. He bowled an excellent slower ball that Conway chipped to cover. To Daryl Michell, Farooqi went around the stumps and got a delivery to straighten from the angle and found the edge. Afghanistan could have had Williamson in the PowerPlay too but the New Zealand captain was reprieved on review by Umpire's Call after shuffling across and playing (and missing) around his pads to a ball from Naveen-ul-Haq that jagged back.

Middle Overs: Rashid Khan completes rout

Phase Score: 42/5

Williamson didn't last long after the reprieve. Rashid removed his Gujarat Titans teammate with his first ball - also the first post-PowerPlay delivery - with the Black Caps captain guiding a length ball straight to the lone slip fielder. In his next over, Rashid cleaned up Mark Chapman and had Michael Bracewell trapped plumb before the stumps with the next ball. Rashid picked up a fourth wicket with the final ball of his spell when Lockie Ferguson chipped a tame catch back to the bowler. In between, Mohammad Nabi added two wickets of his own as Afghanistan didn't miss the services of the injured Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who missed the game.

Fittingly, Fazalhaq returned to finish what he'd started by taking the final wicket as New Zealand folded with 28 balls to spare.

Brief scores:Afghanistan 159/6 in 20 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 80, Ibrahim Zadran 44; Trent Boult 2-22, Lockie Ferguson 1-28) beat New Zealand 75 in 15.2 overs (Fazalhaq Farooqi 4-17, Rashid Khan 4-17) by 84 runs.

What next for the teams:

New Zealand, under severe qualification pressure now, will head to Trinidad to play the other big team in the group, West Indies, on Wednesday (June 12). Afghanistan, with their qualification hopes substantially boosted, will take on Papua New Guinea the following day at the same venue.

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