Afghanistan and Namibia were seeking their second win in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as they clashed in a Group 2 game in Abu Dhabi. In the end, Afghanistan’s world-class spinners proved too much for Namibia...
Full scorecard here
Match summary: Afghanistan in decent position to make semi-finals
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Afghanistan strolled to a 62-run win over Namibia at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Group 2 game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Monday was bereft of excitement. After Afghanistan piled up 160/5 in 20 overs, it was only a matter of time before Namibia slumped to defeat.
Namibia started losing wickets in the first over itself, and after that, it was a procession of batsmen from the crease to the hut. Only David Wiese (26) showed any fight as Afghan bowlers Naveen-Ul-Haq, and Hamid Hassan grabbed three wickets apiece.
After Afghanistan chose to bat, Hazratullah Zazai (33) and Shahzad (45) raked in 50 in the powerplay before Namibian bowlers applied the squeeze. Asghar Afghan, playing his final game for Afghanistan, was given a guard of honour by the Namibians. He stitched together a 35-run fifth-wicket stand with captain Mohammad Nabi (34 not out) helped post a total that was beyond the Namibians. Afghanistan have a massive run-rate and are now in a decent position to make the semi-finals.
Afghanistan win by 62 runs
Namibia finish at 98/9 in 20 overs.
David Wiese's lone battle ends on 26. Inside edges Hassan on to his stumps. and Namibia are 80/9 in 16.5 overs.
Eight down. An Afghan win is two wickets away. Pikky Ya France slogs and top-edges for a caught and bowled for Gulbadin Naib. 77/8 in 16 overs.
Namibia was never in the chase. Almost overawed by the occasion. Regular fall of wickets only exacerbated their misery. They can't win from here and this will have a bearing on the rest of their matches. 76/7 in 15.3 overs
Frylinck skies a catch to Nabi, and Naveen Ul Haq grabs his third wicket. Zimbabwe are 69/7 in 14.5 overs.
There won't be any comebacks for Namibia. They need 102 runs in 47 balls. A required run rate of nearly 13. And they have only four wickets in hand. Not happening.
The captain falls. Erasmus is bowled through the gate by a fiery yorker from Hamid Hassan. Namibia are 56/5 in 10.3 overs. The rot continues. Smit too departs. Nicks a Hassan delivery to the keeper, and Namibia are 56/6. This certainly will end up below 100.
10 overs - Nam 55/4
We are at the halfway mark. Namibia's chase hasn't been encouraging. A couple of wickets and they could go into a tailspin. The stand between Erasmus and Wiese is crucial, although JJ Smit is yet to come.
Rashid Khan comes on to bowl. First ball, first wicket. Zane Green is bowled, and Namibia slump to 36/4 in 7.1 overs. It's going all downhill for Namibia. Erasmus and Wiese at the crease. A lot depends on this pair.
Namibia lose their third wicket. Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton heaves and misses. Gulabadin Naib strikes the stumps. 29/3 in 5.2 overs. Powerplay is still on. At this rate, Namibia might finish under 100.
But their inexperience shows. Michael van Lingen spoons a catch off Naveen Ul-Haq. 16/2 in 2.4 overs. This will impact scoring in the powerplay.
2 overs - Nam 13/1 (Target 161)
That is better by Namibia as they get 10 off the over.
1 over - Nam 3/1 (Target 161)
This looks like it is going to be a is a very steep ask for Namibia.
Early succes for Afghanistan. Namibia lose their first wicket as Naveen ul-Haq gets rid of Craig Williams. Namibia are 2/1 in 0.4 overs.
Afghanistan's right-arm seamer Naveen-Ul-Haq opens the bowling. Williams and van Lingen are in the middle.
Midway summary: Afghanistan post daunting total for Namibia to chase
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Afghanistan should be pleased to compile 160/5 in 20 overs against Namibia in a Group 2 game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi. That’s enough runs for their bowlers to get to work and hammer out a win.
After choosing to bat, the Afghan innings fell into a distinct pattern: a brisk start, the middle-over chaos and the final flourish in the slog. Hazratullah Zazai (33) and Shahzad (45) raked in 50 in the powerplay before Namibian bowlers applied the squeeze in the middle-overs with some excellent spells, grabbing four wickets.
Asghar Afghan, playing his final game for Afghanistan, was given a guard of honour by the Namibians. He helped the Afghans to cast away the shackles, and his 35-run fifth-wicket stand with captain Mohammad Nabi (34 not out) helped post a challenging total.
20 overs - Afg 160/5 - Namibia need 161 to win
Afghanistan make 160/5 in 20 overs. Good enough for their bowlers to get to work.
Asghar Afghan is dismissed at the end of the 19th over for 31. It's his final innings. Handshakes all around. He retires after this game. The Namibians had given him a guard of honour when Afghan came into bat. 148/5 in 19 overs.
A flurry of boundaries and the sparse Afghan crowd has come to life. Some furious flag-waving followed. Mohammad Nabi and Asghar Afghan reeled off three fours in the 17th bowled by Smit. 130/4.
Loftie-Eaton strikes again. Traps Najibullah Zadran in front. Afghanistan are 113/4 in 15.4 overs. They need runs here and can't lose wickets since the slog is coming up.
15 overs up, and Afghanistan are 109/3 which means they added only 59 runs in the last 10 overs. That's the middle-over squeeze. Namibia have come back strongly after the powerplay which went for 50 runs. They have picked up three wickets and have slowed down the scoring. So the final score should be around 150.
Trumpelmann strikes and sends Shahzad back to the pavilion. It's a big wicket as he can score quickly and so Afghanistan find themselves in a spot of bother. Runs have slowed down, and they have lost wickets. 89/3 in 12.4 overs.
12 overs - Afg 87/2
Namibia have pulled it back after the Afghan riot in powerplay. They conceded only two fours in the last four overs and grabbed two wickets. A six has come along. That's after a long time. Shahzad launches Loftie-Eaton over midwicket. 87/2 in 12 overs
Loftie Eaton strikes. Traps Gurbaz lbw. And Afghans lose a review as well. 68/2 in 9.5 overs. That came after a profitable over from which 10 runs accrued, following two quiet overs.
A setback for Afghanistan at the start of the middle over. Zazai is caught by van Lingen off Smit at the square leg fence for 33. Afghanistan are 53/1 in 6.1 overs.
Shahzad has not seen much of the bowling. The sixth over presented some opportunities and he hacked a four to midwicket and a slash grazed the fingers of a leaping fielder at third man. 50/0 in six overs. A good score in the powerplay. Moreover, the Afghans haven't lost wickets. A good platform to launch in the middle overs.
5 overs - Afg 37/0
Zazai can't be kept quiet. An inside edge four to third man off Frylinck was followed by a full-blood shot over midwicket. One more over left in the powerplay. We might see some more big shots here. 37/0 in 5 overs
4 overs - Afg 26/0
That lull didn't last long. Zazai flicked and square-cut for boundaries when Rumpelmann switched ends. Look like the Afghans are being careful not to lose a wicket in the powerplay. 26/0 in 4 overs.
3 overs - Afg 17/0
Namibia have a left-handed seam attack to open the bowling. Rumpelmann followed by JJ Smit. Now David Wiese, a right-arm seamer, replaced Rumpelmann. The last two overs have been quiet. Unusual for Afghanistan. 17/0 in 3 overs
1 over - Afg 11/0
Afghan batsmen are fearless. Opener Hazratullah Zazai edges a four but closes out the Rumpelmann over with six over long on. No repeat of the triple strike from the Scotland game for Rumpelmann. 11/0 in 1 overs.
The anthems are over. The umpires make their way to the centre. The Namibian players join them and the Afghan openers too.
Afghanistan make one change with Hamid Hassan coming in for Mujeeb Ur Rahman who is injured. Namibia are unchanged from their win over Scotland.
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi (capt), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Hamid Hassan, Naveen-ul-Haq.
Namibia: Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Zane Green (wk), Gerhard Erasmus (capt), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Pikky Ya France, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz.
Back to the Zayed Cricket Stadium. The practice sessions are over. The teams are back in their huts. The flags are out in the field.
Just a sprinkling of spectators for the noon match. Much of the interest today is centred around the evening match in Dubai, where India take on New Zealand in what would seem a must-win game.
Afghanistan win toss and elect to bat
Welcome to Match 27 of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Group 2 game at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Afghanistan have won the toss and have elected to bat.
Namibia likely to suffer Scotland’s fate against Afghanistan today
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Afghanistan gained a direct entry into the Super 12s, while Namibia came through the qualifiers of Round One. That reflects the gulf between the two sides as they clash in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup’s Group 2 game in Abu Dhabi Sunday afternoon.
The sheer aggression in the batting and the classy spin trio of Rashid Khan, captain Mohammad Nabi and mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman make Afghanistan the favourites. They routed Scotland and ran Pakistan close. Namibia are likely to suffer Scotland’s fate.
Four left-arm seamers, including Ruben Rumpelmann and a right-hand seamer in David Weise, make for Namibia unique attack. Michael Leask, David Watt and Bernard Scholtz provide the spin options. But they are unlikely to stop the Afghan batsmen.
If Namibia win, that would be a huge surprise. Can they? Let’s find out.