When batting first, England were 85/7, an upset looked to be on the cards. Afghanistan’s spinners were tormenting the English batting lineup until Moeen Ali walked up and played a blistering knock. 44 runs were produced in the last 3 overs. In response, Afghanistan never got the start they wanted. Although Shafiqullah provided late hope with unbeaten 35 from 20 balls. In the end, England emerged victorious by 15 runs.
AS IT HAPPENED:
1825 hrs IST: Shafiqullah ends with a four. England win by 15 runs.
1823 hrs IST: No runs coming now…
1823 hrs IST: Next ball, Jos Buttler is quick to prevent a definite boundary.
1822 hrs IST: Short ball and he could only swat it away but they’ve not run.
1821 hrs IST: First ball – FOUR!
1820 hrs IST: Shafaq gets strike for the final over. 24 needed. Surely not, right? Stokes has the ball.
1818 hrs IST: Shafaq is not letting go easy. First a four over the bowler’s head and now a massive six that goes into the second tier of a rather empty Feroz Shah Kotla.
1816 hrs IST: First ball and there is confusion. Finally Jordan removes the bails to send Amir Hamza back.
1812 hrs IST: Afghanistan are 108/8 after 18 overs. 35 needed from 12 balls. Daunting ask!
1809 hrs IST: Is this still on? Shafiquallah’s six over mid wicket suggests so.
1809 hrs IST: Shenwari has lots of room to play with, a short ball offering width and it isn’t quick either. But Shenwari can only sky it for a catch at extra-cover. Poor stuff by him.
1802 hrs IST: Zadran dives at the bowler’s end but his bat bounces as he does so. Jordan hits the stumps and third umpire says OUT!
1757 hrs IST: Asking rate continues to rise for Afghanistan. 59 needed from 28.
1749 hrs IST: Zadran hits Moeen Ali for a four and a six as 13 come from the 14th over. Afghanistan still need 66 from 6 overs with four wickets in hand.
1745 hrs IST: Another one bites the dust for Afghanistan. Mohammad Nabi tries to go for a big one but he’s taken on the boundary.
1733 hrs IST: Not easy to close things out as we’ve already seen this World Twenty20
Was good while it lasted for Afg. Will learn to close games from good situations. Part of evolution as we saw with Sri Lanka & B’desh
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 23, 2016
1728 hrs IST: Now Adil Rashid strikes in his first over. Noor Ali is almost shell-shocked with what just happened. He played it straight back to Rashid who takes an easy catch. Afghanistan are 40/5.
1724 hrs IST: After doing the business with the bat, Moeen Ali strikes with the ball. First over and he removes Rashid Ali. Afghanistan are in a worrying spot at 35/4.
1716 hrs IST: Now this is what Afghanistan need. A little width to use and Rashid Khan makes the most of it to hit it behind square for a SIX!
1707 hrs IST: OUT! Gulbadin Naib tries to clear the infield but the ball climbs on to him and is taken at extra cover by Stokes. Willey picks his second wicket. Afghanistan are in a mess at 13/3.
1701 hrs IST: Things not going swell for Afghanistan. Asghar edges Jordan and Joe Root is safe pair of hands at first slip. Afghanistan are 12/2.
1653 hrs IST: After a first ball edge four, Shahzad departs off the third. Caught LBW by Willey.
1637 hrs IST: From 57/6 in 9.2 overs, England get 142. Will be it enough?
1627 hrs IST: Moeen Ali is not done. Adds a four to his blistering knock. And England close at 142/7.
1625 hrs IST: Last five overs: 6, 7, 4, 9 and 25. 51 from the last five overs.
1623 hrs IST: 2, 6, 4, 1, 6, 6. Great over for England with 25 runs coming from it.
1615 hrs IST: Moeen Ali taking England to a relatively decent total. David Willey giving him support. England are 107/7 with two overs left to be bowled.
1603 hrs IST: England’s woes continue to rise! Chris Jordan the latest wicket to fall. England are 85/7 after 14.3 overs.
1544 hrs IST: Sixth wicket down for England! Ben Stokes gets an inside edge and onto his stumps
1537 hrs IST: WICKET! Afghanistan are playing at a different level today! Nabi with a superb diving catch at covers to send Buttler on his way
1528 hrs IST: WICKET! But Joe Root is gone! A miscommunication and Nabi pulls the stump off the ground as Root is short. England collapsing in Delhi. 42/2 after 6 overs
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) 23 March 2016
Afghanistan looking good again. England looking vulnerable to slow bowling at the Kotla. And now, Root gone too!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 23 March 2016
1527 hrs IST: A huge shout on the hat-trick ball but Ben Stokes was batting out-side the off-stump
1525 hrs IST: WICKET! Morgan gone! He leaves a straight one from Nabi hoping it will turn but it hits his stumps
1524 hrs IST: WICKET! England lose Vince as he gives a return catch to Nabi and England are 42/2
1518 hrs IST: And now Vince cuts one through off-side for FOUR
1516 hrs IST: SIX! Joe Root rocks back and pulls a short one way back into the stands. England 27/1 after 4
1511 hrs IST: WICKET! Spinner Hamza has done it for England. Jason Roy is bowled by him
1507 hrs IST: Jason Roy hits one back past the the bowler to give England their first FOUR
1503 hrs IST: Shahpur Zadran to bowl pace from the other end
1501 hrs IST: Vince to face his first ball in the #WT20
1500 hrs IST: Afghanistan start with spin and Jason Roy will face the first ball
1455 hrs IST: Both teams done with the national anthems and we are all set for live action
1441 hrs IST: The playing XIs of the two teams
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) 23 March 2016
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) 23 March 2016
1433 hrs IST: England win toss and elect to bat against Afghanistan in New Delhi
1430 hrs IST: Eoin Morgan and Nabi ready for the toss
1355 hrs IST: Brian Lara begins with a prediction
Eng should win this encounter against the promising Afgan cricketers but their weak bowling leaves them vulnerable to any outcome. #EngvAfg
— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) 23 March 2016
IT’S A warm afternoon at the Feroz Shah Kotla. After a 30-minute football session, the England players make their way to the nets. Batting consultant Paul Collingwood walks in with a whiteboard that has the batting order.
The embarrassing defeat against minnows Netherlands in the 2014 edition of the event still fresh in their minds, England are in no mood to take Afghanistan for “granted” in an ICC World T20 group match in New Delhi on Wednesday, said its captain Eoin Morgan.
Afghanistan cricketers have the talent but their coach Inzamam ul Haq wants them to get more exposure against the Test playing nations in order to take their game to the next level.
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