Afghanistan outclassed “mighty” England by 69 runs to record the first major upset of the ongoing World Cup 2023 took place at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi in India.
Chasing a target of 285, England were bowled out 215 in the 41st over with Afghanistan securing a historic 69-run victory against the defending champions.
Today’s win is Afghanistan’s first-ever victory over England in one-day internationals (ODIs) and their second World Cup win.
Batting second, the defending champions faced challenges on the tricky Delhi wicket from the starting overs as pacer Fazal Farooqi removed England’s reliable opener, Jonny Bairstow with an inswinger on the first ball of his spell.
Joe Root looked in sharp touch after arriving but Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s peach of a delivery sent him back to the pavilion for just 11 runs.
Skipper Jos Buttler struggled from the moment he stepped on the field with the bat and was removed for just nine runs courtesy of a beauty by Naveen-ul-Haq.
Harry Brook was the only English batter to hold his ground and play a long innings as the youngster scored 66 off 61 with eight boundaries but he, too, couldn’t do much and lost his wicket to Mujeeb.
Buttler’s men struggled badly on the dead and slow pitch and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, losing all of their batters for 215 runs.
Rashia and Mujeeb took three wickets each, Mohammad Nabi got two, while Farooqi and Naveen picked one.
Batting first, Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided his side a flying start as they were 75-0 in just the first nine overs.
Gurbaz showcased his brilliant batting skills and played a rapid knock, scoring 80 off just 57 balls which included 12 boundaries, eight fours and four sixes.
The left-handed batter was on his way to complete a well-deserved century but a misunderstanding with his captain Hashmatullah Shahidi got him run out just 20 runs shy of a hundred.
After Gurbaz’s wicket, Afghanistan lost wickets in quick succession but Ikram Ali Khil’s 58 and valuable knocks by Rashid (23) and Mujeeb (28), respectively, powered Afghanistan to a fighting 284-run total.
Adil Rashid bagged three wickets for 42 runs while Mark Wood, using his sheer pace, got two to his name.
Things have gotten difficult for Buttler as his side only has one win in three matches and they play an inform South Africa next on October 21 in Mumbai. On the other hand, Afghanistan will also play a top team, New Zealand on October 18 in Chennai, a spinning wicket where Shahidi’s men can take advantage of their world-class spin wicket.