Afghanistan caused the first major upset of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup with a 69-run win over defending champions England at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ikram Alikhil scored half-centuries, guiding Afghanistan to 284 in 49.5 overs. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman then claimed three wickets each, as England were bundled for 215 in 40.5 overs.
This win marked the end of Afghanistan’s 14-match losing streak in World Cups. Afghanistan now occupy the sixth position on the points table, just behind England. Meanwhile, Australia find themselves at the bottom of the ten-team tally.
England’s chase of 285 began with a setback as Jonny Bairstow was trapped lbw on the very first ball by Fazalhaq Farooqui. He reviewed the decision immediately. The replay confirmed that the ball was clipping the leg-stump on the umpire’s call, leading to Bairstow’s dismissal.
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While Dawid Malan and Joe Root managed to find some boundaries, Farooqui’s precise line and length continued to trouble them. Mujeeb Ur Rahman compounded England’s woes by dismissing Root with a deceptive googly that stayed low. Despite a brief partnership between Malan and Harry Brook aimed at stabilising the chase, Mohammad Nabi outfoxed Malan with an outside off-stump delivery, resulting in a catch at short extra cover.
Naveen-ul-Haq delivered a remarkable delivery that swung in from wide outside off-stump to dismiss Jos Buttler, hitting the timber. Rashid Khan joined the wicket-takers’ list by trapping Liam Livingstone lbw with a straighter delivery. Livingstone’s review attempt proved futile.Brook, who reached his fifty in just 35 balls, offered England a glimmer of hope.
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Soon, Nabi’s cunning use of dip, turn, and bounce resulted in Sam Curran’s downfall as he edged to slip.
Mujeeb ultimately had Chris Woakes outsmarted with a well-executed googly that hit the off-stump. He dismissed Brook caught behind with a quicker carrom ball, while Rashid dismissed Adil Rashid at slip. Despite Reece Topley’s resistance, Rashid’s magic accounted for Mark Wood, as the Afghans registered their first win in the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup.