Mujeeb Ur Rahman takes 5-20 as Scotland skittled for 60 in 10.2 overs in Sharjah; Afghanistan win Super 12 clash by 130 runs after posting 190-4 from their 20 overs; Scotland back in action against Namibia on Wednesday; Afghanistan play Pakistan on Friday
Last Updated: 25/10/21 7:12pm
Scotland’s three-match winning streak at the T20 World Cup came to a crashing halt as they were rolled for just 60 by an inspired Afghanistan during a 130-run trouncing in Sharjah.
Scotland had beaten Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman to reach the Super 12 for the first time in their history but were blown away by Afghanistan, all out in 10.2 overs in reply to their opponents’ 190-4 as spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman (5-20) and Rashid Khan (4-9) ran riot.
Mujeeb picked up three wickets in the fourth over, bowling Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer for 10 before pinning Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington lbw for ducks to start the Saltires’ slide from 28-0.
Coetzer’s side lost all 10 wickets for 32 runs in seven overs, with Rashid clinching a resounding victory for Afghanistan when he bowled last man Brad Wheal first ball – Wheal the fifth Scotland batter to bag a duck.
Afghanistan were ruthless with the ball after being brutal with the bat as they piled on the highest score in the 2021 World Cup so far, with top-scorer Najibullah Zadran (59 off 34) swatting the biggest six of the competition, a 103-metre monster over long-on.
Hazratullah Zazai (44 off 30) – who tonked a 101-metre six of his own – Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46 off 37), Mohammad Shahzad (22 off 15) and captain Mohammad Nabi (11no off four balls) also fired as Afghanistan creamed 11 sixes and 13 fours after electing to bat.
Zazai put on 55 with Shahzad for Afghanistan’s first wicket inside six overs, while Najibullah and Rahmanullah added 87 from 52 balls for the third, with the latter whipping an extraordinary six off Josh Davey helicopter-style.
Shahzad then backed up his bowlers in the field, with the wicketkeeper’s superb catch leaping to his right accounting for Matthew Cross (0) as Scotland’s Nos 3, 4, 5, and 6 were all dismissed without scoring.
Michael Leask was the fourth batter, after MacLeod, Berrington and Cross, to depart for a duck, lbw to Rashid, with his wicket sandwiched by Mujeeb bowling George Munsey (25 off 18) – who had struck two sixes and as many fours in an enterprising cameo for Scotland up top – and Mark Watt (1).
Wheal then became the fifth player to exit for nought, castled by Rashid, who had followed his wicket of Leask with those of Chris Greaves (12) and Davey (4), both lbw, as Scotland were dismantled in the desert.
Afghanistan’s rise up the T20I rankings meant they qualified automatically for the Super 12 stage and, on this evidence, they will challenge the more high-profile sides in their group, in India, Pakistan and New Zealand.
WHICH PLAYERS STARRED?
Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan – nine wickets between them on the night and you would expect plenty more to come, even against higher-quality opposition. Mujeeb triggered Scotland’s collapse as he befuddled the top order with balls that spun in, bowled Munsey with a quicker delivery, and then turned a ball in to bowl Watt from around the wicket. Rashid, meanwhile, bamboozled the lower order and tail with googlies.
Hazratullah Zazai – the swashbuckling left-hander smoked three huge slog-swept sixes as he got Afghanistan’s innings off to a rollicking start. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is a guy who has hit six sixes in an over in domestic T20 cricket as well as an unbeaten 162 from just 62 balls in a T20 international against a shell-shocked Ireland in 2019.
Mark Watt – you sensed it was going to take something special to get rid of Zazai and Scotland spinner Watt delivered, with his quick leg-stump yorker cramping the Afghanistan batter for room and forcing him to chop onto his stumps in the 10th over. Watt bagged 1-23 from his four overs in total, giving the opposition little to work with – unlike his fellow Scotland bowlers!
Najibullah Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz – Afghanistan’s big-hitters just kept on coming! If Scotland thought the pyrotechnics would stop once Shahzad and Hazratullah departed, they were sorely mistaken as Najibullah and Rahmanullah kept peppering the fence. Najibullah completed a 30-ball fifty and ultimately won what seemed to be a competition between the Afghanistan batters as to who could belt the ball the furthest!
Scotland vs Namibia
October 27, 2021, 2:30pm
Scotland return to action against fellow qualifiers Namibia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (2.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket), while Afghanistan’s next match is against Pakistan in Dubai on Friday (2.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket).
Pakistan drubbed India by 10 wickets on Sunday to record their first win over their rivals in World Cup cricket – they will be looking to back that up against New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday (2.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket).
Pakistan vs New Zealand
October 26, 2021, 2:30pm
S Africa vs W Indies
October 26, 2021, 10:30am
Tuesday’s earlier fixture sees South Africa take on West Indies in Dubai (10.30am Sky Sports Cricket), with both sides aiming to rebound from defeats in their opening games, to Australia and England respectively.
South Africa suffered a five-wicket loss as Australia scraped to their victory target of 119 in the final over, while defending champions West Indies were torpedoed for just 55 by England during a six-wicket defeat.
Watch the T20 World Cup live on Sky between now and November 14.