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25 Oct 2021
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi had said that a win in the match against Scotland will bring smiles on the faces of the fans back home. Well, Nabi’s men and especially Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan did what the doctor ordered and ripped through the Scotland batting unit in Sharjah on Monday.
Chasing 191 in 20 overs, Scotland could only manage to score 60 runs in 10.2 overs with Mujeeb picking up a fifer while Rashid returning with a four-wicket haul during the course to win the match by 130 runs.
Scotland started off the proceedings in a decent manner as openers George Munsey and captain Kyle Coetzer stitched a stand of 28 runs for the first wicket before the latter was cleaned up by Mujeeb which certainly broke the shackles and Scotland were soon reduced to 28/3 at the end of the fourth over.
The misery continued for Coetzer’s side as they lost a couple of more wickets in the power play overs with Munsey being sent back in the hut by Mujeeb for 25 off 18, a knock that included a couple of maximums and as many fours.
The wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals and Scotland were left tottering at 53/8 to eventually get bowled out. Mujeeb’s five-for came at the cost of just 20 runs in 4 overs while Rashid returned with figures of 4/9 in 2.2 overs.
Earlier, in the day, Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad gave Afghanistan a brisk start as the two batters put 54 for the first wicket in less than 6 overs. While Shahzad departed for a 15-ball22, Zazai continued with his onslaught and struck 44 off 30 including three sixes and three fours.
Afghanistan were 82/2 in the 10th over when Gurbaz was joined by Najibullah and what unleashed next was a nightmare for the Scotland bowling unit. The two batsmen put on a partnership of 87 runs for the third wicket. Gurbaz fell short of a half-century by just four runs while Najibullah went on to score 59 in 34 deliveries. Captain Nabi also chipped in with a quick-fire 11* off 4 to help the side post 190/4 in 20 overs.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi acknowledged the importance of winning at the start of the tournament and also hailed the openers for their knock. The right-hander further lavished praise on the spin department and the way they fared.
“It's important to win at the start of the tournament. Both the openers started well, we finished the powerplay on a good note. The running between the wickets was good and Najib played well to help as post that total,” he said in the post-match presentation.
“We have some good spinners in the form of Rashid and Mujeeb, they played everywhere in the world. We have a very good team combination,” he added.
Scotland will now play Namibia on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi while Afghanistan will be up against Pakistan in Dubai on Friday.