Decoding Afghanistan’s run in the group stage

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Afghanistan lost only one match in the round (Source: X/@ICC)

What’s the story

We have completed the competition phase of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in West Indies and USA.

Afghanistan are among the eight teams to qualify for the next phase as they finished second in Group C with three wins in four matches.

They won their first three matches before losing to the West Indies.

Let’s decipher their campaign so far.

Summary of the campaign in Afghanistan

Afghanistan defeated Uganda by 125 runs in their opener.

They even defeated New Zealand by 84 runs in their second match. They chased down 96 against PNG to seal a Super 8 berth.

While Rashid Khan’s team bowled out their opponents under 100 runs in the above-mentioned matches, they conceded 218/5 against WI and later lost the match by 104 runs.

Historic triumph over Uganda

Against Uganda, Afghanistan registered the fifth biggest T20 World Cup win in terms of runs (125).

This was also the second biggest win for Afghanistan in the overall T20Is.

Their 130-run win against Scotland in the 2021 T20 World Cup ranks first.

Afghanistan is now the only team with multiple wins by more than 120 runs in T20 World Cups.

Uganda recorded the seventh lowest total in the history of the competition (58).

Record stand by Gurbaz and Zadran

During the match in Uganda, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (76) and Ibrahim Zadran (70) achieved the second highest opening stand in T20 World Cup history (154).

They are behind only Englishmen Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, who scored 170* runs against India (2022).

Farooqi finished with 5/9 in the match, the fourth best bowling figures in T20 World Cup history.

He also took four wickets against NZ in his next appearance.

Memorable win against New Zealand

Afghanistan defeated New Zealand for the first time in international cricket.

A collective bowling performance from the Afghan team saw the Kiwis record their second-lowest T20 World Cup total (75).

They were bundled out for 60 in the 2014 match against Sri Lanka.

Key records written by players

Farooqi became the first bowler to claim at least four wickets in consecutive T20 WC matches.

Rashid’s 4/17 against NZ are the best figures by a captain in the history of the competition.

Gurbaz and Ibrahim, who scored 103 runs against NZ, became the first opening pair to record consecutive century stands in T20 World Cups.

Unwanted record for Azmatullah Omarzai

WI’s Nicholas Pooran hit Azmatullah Omarzai for three sixes and two fours in one over.

As the pacer also conceded 10 extra runs, he bowled the most expensive in the history of the T20 World Cup (36 runs).

He joined Stuart Broad on this unwanted list as the latter was smashed for six consecutive sixes by Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 edition.

Huge defeat against WI

WI’s 218/5 against Afghanistan is the highest team score in the ongoing tournament.

Afghanistan suffered the second biggest T20I defeat in terms of runs (104).

In the also game, WI recorded the highest powerplay total in T20 WCs (92/1).

They went past Ireland’s 91/1 against the Netherlands in the 2014 edition.

These are Afghanistan’s key players

With 12 scalps, Farooqi finished the league stage as the leading wicket-taker (ER: 6.66).

Rashid and Naveen-ul-Haq claimed six and five wickets each.

Meanwhile, Gurbaz finished the round as the highest run-getter. He amassed 167 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 150.45.

His opening partner Ibrahim closely follows him with 152 runs at a strike rate of 124.59.