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Afghanistan to ‘sort out’ batting, fielding lineup ahead of first World Cup match



(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Afghanistan is set to face West Indies in its 2nd warmup match prior to the start of their first match in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on October 25.

The warm up match is set to be played in ICCA Oval 1, Dubai on Wednesday evening.

Afghanistan lost its first warmup match to South Africa as they were reduced to only 104/8 in their 20 overs and lost the match by 41 runs. Although Afghanistan’s bowling attack started well, with Nabi and Mujeeb turning things around, the South African batsmen targeted Afghanistan’s bowlers which caused to them to lose at least 30 runs.

The batters were also restricted and felt the heat as the South Africans ended up controlling the match.

The Afghan team has high hopes of defeating the Windies on Wednesday in what they hope will be a confidence booster before embarking on their official journey at the World Cup.

Afghanistan will look to strengthen their batting by sorting out the batting order. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai are the men who have had some impressive performances over the last two years for the national team and in franchise cricket.

If Afghanistan are to prove on their batting, they will need two of these batters to do well and at least one other batter to support them.

A middle order which includes captain Mohammad Nabi, Najeebullah Zadran and Asghar Afghan will also try to post a big score.

In the bowling department, Mohammad Nabi will look to bowl Rashid Khan Wednesday to observe where and how to utilize him at the main event; while Rashid will need to assess the conditions and prepare himself for the next event.

Hamid Hassan however did not complete his full quota and injured his finger, but will be looking to bowl some overs and mark his presence before their first official match.

Mohammad Nabi will also be looking to test the medium pace of Karim Jannat in the middle overs as an additional seam bowling option in the line-up, while Fareed or Gulbadin Naib will also be kept in check to test their medium fast bowling abilities before going to the first match against B1 on Oct 25.
Said Rahman Ahmadzai, fielding coach of the National U19 team said Wednesday that the warm up match was important and must be considered as the final opportunity to select the best XI for the first match.

“The batters focused on big hitting in the first inning (against South African) which was not right” said Ahmadzai.

He added: “The mistakes that we made in the first match must not be repeated, good batting, bowling and fielding must be done which is very important for the team’s performance”.

Ahmadzai also pointed out that the spin bowling attack approach could prove beneficial in these conditions.

“UAE pitches are spin bowling friendly; the ball is not coming good on the bat and sometimes the wickets make it difficult for the batsmen to read the ball well”.

He also added that around 150 runs are a defendable score in these conditions but while bowling first, the team must restrict the opposition to around 130 runs to be able to chase the target down.

Afghanistan defeated West Indies 2-1 in a 3-match T20I series in Lucknow two years ago and will be mentally ready going into this match.


Afghanistan beat Ireland by 22 runs in 3rd T20I



(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 22 runs in the third T20I in Belfast on Friday.

Sent to bat first by the hosts who won the toss, Afghanistan posted 189-5 in the 20 overs. 

Rahmanullah Gurbaz top scored with 53 off 35 balls, followed by Najibullah Zadran who struck 42 off 18. Hazratullah Zazai and Ibrahim Zadran contributed with 39 and 36 each respectively.

Chasing 190-run target, Ireland lost Paul Stirling in the very first over and ended their innings with 167-9.

George Dockrell was their highest scorer with 58 (not out). 

Naveen-ul-Haq claimed three wickets while Mujib-ur-Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi each picked up two wickets.

Ireland lead the five-match series 2-1. The next match will be on Monday.


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Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in first T20I match of series



(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the first of five matches in the T20 International in Belfast on Tuesday.

George Dockrell hit the winning boundary off the penultimate ball to lift Ireland on to 171 for three after they were set a target of 169.

Afghanistan’s total of 168 for seven had been boosted by 30 runs off the final two overs, with Ibrahim Zadran clubbing 29 not out off 18 balls.

Afghanistan’s top scorer, opener Usman Ghani, struck two sixes and six fours in his 59 off 42 balls.

The two sides will meet again on Thursday at the same Civil Services Cricket Club venue in Stormont for the second time in their five-match series.

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Former international cricket umpire Koertzen dies in car accident



(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Rudi Koertzen, former international cricket umpire from South Africa, died on Tuesday in a car accident in the country, ESPNcricInfo reported citing his family.

“He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf,” his son Rudi Koertzen jr said.

Koertzen, 73, was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires for eight years and officiated in 331 matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010 that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.

“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricInfo.

“I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field.

“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”

Koertzen died while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, where he lived with his family, ESPNcricInfo said.

Koertzen still umpired occasionally in amateur cricket in his hometown of Despatch in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

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