AFG vs ENG, World Cup 2023 Highlights: First major upset, Afghanistan pull off historic win against defending champions England

Monday, 16 October 2023 (11:08 IST)
New Delhi: Afghanistan scripted a historic 69-run victory over England in the first major upset of the Men's World Cup at Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Sunday.
This victory will go down as one the greatest victories at the World Cup for beating the defending champions. Their first win was against Scotland in Australia, eight years back.
Afghanistan skittled England out for 215 to register their second World Cup victory. And this came about in a city where a sizable Afghan refugees inhabit the streets of Jangpura, who were seen in the stands, cheering their nation.
Put into bat, Afghanistan mustered a decent 284 runs and then outwitted English batsmen with the help of their celebrated spinners.
After posting a decent target, Afghanistan got one wicket early to push England on the backfoot and Fazaqulhaq Farooqui did it by shaping one back into Jonny Bairstow to trap him in front for two.
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman added salt to his wounds by ratting Joe Root's timbers. England were struggling earlier than expected with the scoreline reading 33/2.
Dawid Malan gave a lolly at covers off Mhammad Nabi, and Jos Buttler lost his stumps off Naveen-ul-Haq, spending uncharacteristic time at the crease. Afghanistan were truly on top inside 20 overs.
They pushed England further on the backfoot immediately when Rashid Khan snared Liam Livingstone, leaving England rattled at 117/5.
Harry Brook held the England innings together, compiling his second ODI fifty and warding off the Rashid threat admirably, but he kept running out of partners. When Nabi sent back Sam Curran, caught at slip, with the score still under 150, Afghanistan had truly stamped their authority on the game.
Chris Woakes and Brook promised a revival with a secure stand, but Mujeeb broke through with a tight over at the end of which Woakes' stumps were pegged back.
Mujeeb came back to dismiss Brook and the rest of the line-up failed to counter the Afghanistan spinners as Afghanistan pulled off a memorable upset win.
Put in to bat, England were treated to a rampant Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who put the defending champions in defensive mode with an onslaught that saw Afghanistan race to 45 inside the first six overs.
With boundaries flooding from one end and Ibrahim Zadran blocking his end out pretty well on a flat wicket, the breakthrough just didn't come for England.
Flaying criticism around their slow powerplay starts, Afghanistan dug into England's bowling attack with Sam Curran being at the receiving end of Gurbaz's fury. The opener smashed him for two fours and a six in the ninth over that saw 20 runs coming.
Gurbaz soon completed a 33-ball fifty and celebrated it next over by upper-cutting Mark Wood over the third man fence with a sublime shot.
Adil Rashid eventually broke through for England, sending back Zadran in the 17th over. The batter's heave the leg-side was safely pouched by Joe Root at mid-wicket.
One brought another as Rahmat Shah was out stumped off Rashid in his next over. What was turning out to be a slight blip on their course soon turned into a mini-collapse as Gurbaz was run out the very next ball with skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi erring in his judgement of a single.
With Gurbaz gone for 80 and Afghanistan losing three wickets in three overs, England sensed an opening to come back into the game.
Part-time spinners Liam Livingstone and Joe Root struck in between some lusty hits from Azmatullah Omarzai and Ikram Ali Khil as Afghanistan lost half their side in the 33rd over with the score still under 200.
If England hoped to run through the lower middle-order, that didn't quite materialise with Ali Khil holding his end up quite well. Mark Wood bounced out Mohammad Nabi, but Rashid Khan curbed his instincts to ensure Ali Khil had decent company heading into the death overs.
It took a gem of a catch from Root near the ropes for England to break the 43-run stand between Ali Khil and Rashid with the latter falling to his namesake from the England side.
Mujeeb ur Rahman, though, got going for Afghanistan, slamming a sequence of four, four and six off Sam Curran to push Afghanistan late in the innings. Ali Khil joined him with some cracking shots too after his half-century.
England broke the stand before the final two overs with the wicket of Ali Khil and also prized out Mujeeb the first ball next over, but a competitive total had already been compiled. The 284 put on is Afghanistan's second-highest score in the Cricket World Cup. (UNI)

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