Fazalhaq Farooqi’s fifer and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran power Afghanistan to 125-run win over Uganda | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Afghanistan secured a commanding 125-run victory against Uganda, marking a strong start to their campaign. The match featured standout performances from opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who scored 76 runs off 45 balls, and Ibrahim Zadran, with 70 runs off 46 balls.
Their partnership contributed to the second-highest opening stand in the history of the men’s T20 World Cup, propelling Afghanistan to a total of 183/5 after electing to bat first.

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The highlight of the match was a remarkable bowling performance by left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi, who took five wickets for just nine runs. This effort included a maiden five-wicket haul that effectively dismantled the Ugandan batting lineup, limiting them to a mere 58 runs in 16 overs. Farooqi’s spell was pivotal in Afghanistan’s comprehensive win, showcasing his skill and contributing significantly to the team’s success.
Afghanistan’s captain, Rashid Khan, praised the team’s collective effort and emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive mindset regardless of the opposition. He said, “The kind of start we wanted as a team. Does not matter who we play, it is about the mindset. The hard work we have done in the last few weeks, the way the openers started and the way our bowlers bowled – it was a great overall team effort.”

Farooqi’s performance was particularly noteworthy for his near hat-trick opportunities, demonstrating his lethal bowling with the new ball. Despite missing out on a hat-trick, his ability to deliver under pressure and his contributions in crucial moments were instrumental in Afghanistan’s victory. Farooqi credited his experience in franchise cricket, including playing in the IPL, as beneficial to his development and performance on the international stage.
“I have missed it (getting the hat-trick) a few times (smiles). Something that is not under my control and if I get a chance again, I will try to get that hat-trick,” added Farooqi.
The match also highlighted Afghanistan’s aggressive batting approach, with Gurbaz and Zadran setting a strong foundation in the early overs. Their partnership was characterized by powerful hitting and effective run-scoring, which was further aided by Uganda’s fielding errors. Despite a potential to post an even higher total, Uganda’s bowlers managed to contain Afghanistan to under 200 runs.
Looking ahead, Afghanistan face a significant challenge against New Zealand, a formidable opponent. Captain Rashid Khan emphasized the importance of simplicity in their approach to the upcoming match, underscoring the team’s readiness to face tougher competition as the tournament progresses.
(Inputs from PTI)

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