Everything goes to plan for Afghanistan in Scotland walloping

T20 World Cup
Afghanistan

Afghanistan couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after a record victory over Scotland.

Apart from losing the toss and being put in to bat, Afghanistan had most things go their way as they piled on the runs before Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan tore into the hapless Scotland batting.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran, who shared an 86-run third-wicket partnership, were singled out for special praise by skipper Mohammed Nabi.

“This was our plan, to bat first and put a big score,” Nabi said.

“The way our openers started really well, finished the powerplay with a good score and then Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran rotated the strike really well.”

Nabi wasn’t surprised by the performance of his two leading spinners,Mujeeb and Rashid, who shared nine wickets between them with the former taking out the top order before the latter shredded the Scotland tail.

The skipper joked that the pair, who were virtually unplayable to the Scots, get hit miles in the nets.

“Everyone knows Rashid and Mujeeb are among the best in the world. It’s a really nice team and hopefully we’ll keep winning. When they bowl in the nets we hit them everywhere, no respect in the nets,” Nabi chuckled.

“When we play the local tournaments like Shpagheeza or APL, me and Mujeeb and Rashid are the expensive bowlers. It was Mujeeb’s first game in T20 World Cup and he got the Man of the Match, it’s fantastic.”

Afghanistan bring Scotland down to earth

Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer was not in the mood for mirth but did find time to praise one of his players in spinner Mark Watt, but was withering in his assessment of the overall effort.

“Clearly not one of our better days,” Coetzer said.

“We have been playing some good cricket to get here, but sometimes things don’t go to plan. This was against a very good Afghanistan team on a potentially tricky pitch, we have to give them credit and some good ones from our guys too. Mark Watt was really good. We fought hard in the field. It’s just a level check to see where our standards are. We’ll be better for it in the next game. We have a great bunch of players and belief in the side. Belief among the players is key. It’s not like we’ll be locked up in separate rooms. We’ll come together in the hotel. We have to keep moving forward.”

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