On a fast track, Sam Curran took five wickets to set the stage for England’s five-wicket win over Afghanistan in a Super 12 match at Perth Stadium. In 18.1 overs, England chased down the moderate target of 113.
England Wins Easily Thanks to Sam Curran’s Fifer.
Afghanistan rattled early on by the pace and bounce.
England’s innings began with Ben Stokes bowling a decent length delivery that got an outside edge from Hazratullah Zazai. He was caught behind the wickets by Jos Buttler. Mark Wood then took over and dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz with a moving delivery. Wood continued to bowl hard and quickly, making scoring tough for Afghanistan. However, Ibrahim Zadran and Zazai avoided being run out because Wood’s pitches were just missing the edges of their bats.
The catching in England comes to the fore.
Not only was England’s bowling excellent, as well as their fielding. In the seventh over, Zazai reduced one-off Ben Stokes to deep cover, where Livingstone clambered to take an excellent catch. Moeen Ali ran back from backward point to complete a fine effort to send Ibrahim back to the pavilion in the 12th over, while Adil Rashid charged from mid-on to bag another impressive catch, with Najibullah Zadran being the batter dismissed. Buttler then dived full stretch to catch another boundary, this time off Mohammad Nabi. Wood also contributed to the dismissal by bowling the short ball with accuracy.
Sam Curran gets five wickets.
Finally, England’s bowling effort was completed by Sam Curran, who ran through Afghanistan’s lower order in his final two overs. He has used short ball to dismiss Azmatullah, Rashid Khan, and Usman Ghani, while Fazalhaq Farooqi was dismissed with a fuller length ball, making him the first English bowler to record a five-for in T20Is. He had previously plucked Ibrahim’s scalp. In fact, after taking out Azmatullah and Rashid, he was on a hat trick but couldn’t complete it in the next over.
Was there any resistance from Afghanistan?
In difficult conditions, Ibrahim (32) and Ghani (30) played with trust to some extent. Ibrahim, unique, demonstrated some skill, as demonstrated by his ability to pull an express delivery from Wood for a six. In the second over, he also drove the same bowler for a boundary. The top-order bats were primarily looking to come forward at every opportunity to counter the slightly fuller-length ball on a fast pitch and then push back when necessary. Meanwhile, Ghani hit a few nice pulls off Adil Rashid and Stokes.
How did England go about achieving the goal?
England, too, struggled to score runs on a fast deck. The only difference was that there was no pressure on the England batters, as the opponent was bundled out for a low score. Liam Livingstone led the team with an unbeaten 21-ball 29, while Buttler, Malan, and Alex Hales scored 18, 18, and 19 runs, respectively. Livingstone was that one batter who seemed to find some batting fluency as he drove, cut, and glanced at Afghanistan’s bowlers to pick up a few boundaries. Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid, Fareed Malik, and Nabi shared the spoils for Afghanistan. Rashid was the most economical bowler on display, finishing with a 1 for 17 batting average.
Pitch and injury monitoring
The track at the Perth stadium was fast and bouncy, bringing back memories of the WACA stadium. Both sets of bowlers frequently used the short ball. Other teams’ fast bowlers may be keeping an eye on the conditions at Perth Stadium.
England also had a minor injury scare as Stokes appeared to be bothered by a knee problem throughout his overs. He did, however, come out to bat later in the game.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 112 (Ibrahim Zadran 32; Sam Curran 5-10) lost by five wickets to England 113/5 in 18.1 overs (Livingstone 29*; Rashid Khan 1-17).