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Records tumble as Afghanistan put in complete performance

Mujeeb Ur Rahman of Afghanistan successfully appeals for the LBW of Calum MacLeod of Scotland during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Afghanistan and Scotland at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on October 25, 2021 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Several records were broken as Afghanistan inflicted a 130-run defeat on Scotland in their opening match of Group 2.

Several records were broken as Afghanistan inflicted a 130-run defeat on Scotland in their opening match of Group 2.  

For Afghanistan, the win marked their biggest victory in T20 internationals, for Scotland the opposite, their worst score in a T20I as they could only post 60 in reply to Afghanistan’s 190.  

Afghanistan were as dominant with the ball as they were with the bat, as Mujeeb Ur Rahman took five for 20 on his T20 World Cup debut while Najibullah Zadran hit 59 from just 34 balls. 

Afghanistan’s batting innings began with Hazratullah Zazai, a left-hander, and a Mohammad Shahzad, a right-hander, a theme maintained throughout the match and something which Mark Watt, Scotland’s most economical bowler, admitted was a challenge.  

Watt said: “Before the game, we knew it was going to be a short boundary one side, so we're just trying our best to protect it.  

“But I thought Afghanistan’s left-hand hand-right hand combination out in the middle, we found it quite tough to protect the short boundary, but we tried our best.” 

Zazai would soon claim the longest six of the Super 12s so far, smashing Brad Wheal a massive 101m. 

By the end of the innings, that distance had been beaten with Zadran crashing a six 103m, which was one of five maximums to go over 97m in this innings, making up the top five so far in the Super 12s. 

Afghanistan didn’t stop there, they made use of the shorter boundary eight times, as they chalked up 11 sixes in total, the most in the tournament. 

But it wasn’t just boundaries where Afghanistan got their runs, they scored 73 of their 190 by running through the wickets. 

The second left-right combination of Zadran and Gurbaz were particularly quick between the wickets even having two runs scratched off for being short of their ground at the turn. 

With 190 on the board, Afghanistan’s highest score in a T20 and what would be Scotland’s biggest chase, Afghanistan looked to wrap up the game as quickly.

Mujeeb announced himself on the World Cup stage taking three wickets in his second over, including two in two balls. 

Captain Kyle Coetzer was the first to go, clean bowled by Mujeeb for 10 before Calum MacLeod was dismissed off the next ball, trapped lbw, with a review giving him out on umpire’s call. 

It was the same fate for Richie Berrington, who went for a duck, as did Matthew Cross and Michael Leask as Scotland became the first side to have batters from three to six all make ducks. 

Mujeeb would also pick up opener George Munsey who top-scored with 25 and Watt to take five for 20 off his four overs. 

Two of his wickets were lbw with Rashid Khan dismissing three batters leg before wicket, this saw Scotland match the Netherlands as having the most dismissals by lbw in men’s T20I cricket. 

Khan took the final two Scotland wickets in two balls to collect four for nine from just 2.2 overs as Afghanistan moved top of Group 2 with a net run rate of +6.5 to cap a dominant display. 

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