Mujeeb takes 5 and Rashid takes 4 as Afghanistan cruise to a 130 run victory in Sharjah. The Afghans also impress with the bat, as Najibullah smashes a half-century!
Afghanistan 190 for 4 (Najibullah 59, Gurbaz 46, Sharif 2-33) beat Scotland 60 (Munsey 25, Mujeeb 5-20, Rashid 4-9) by 130 runs
Chasing down a target of 191 was never going to be easy for Scotland, but no one expected them to collapse so spectacularly. Mujeeb Ur Rahman destroyed their top order with a three-wicket over and went on to complete his maiden five-for in T20Is, finishing with incredible figures of 4-0-20-5.
The batters further down the order then stood no chance against Rashid Khan’s fantastic variety of leg-breaks, googlies, and top-spinners. The Afghanistan superstar picked up 4 for 9 in 2.2 overs, as Scotland were skittled out for just 60! The margin of victory, 130 runs, was the biggest for Afghanistan ever in T20 internationals!
Earlier, Afghanistan skipper, Mohammad Nabi decided to bat first. It was an interesting call, because so far captains that have won the toss have generally opted to field first in this tournament.
However, Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad provided Afghanistan with a blistering start. The fifty came up in just 5.1 overs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran then added 87 in 8.4 overs for the third wicket. The partnership lifted the side to a total that proved to be far too much for Scotland against the mystery of Rashid and Mujeeb.
Scotland’s game against Namibia tomorrow now looks like a crunch tie for Kyle Coetzer’s men in the Super 12s. Afghanistan play Pakistan on Friday in what should be an epic showdown. After this performance with both bat and ball, Nabi’s side must believe that they have a real chance of upsetting the form book against their regional rivals.