Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul powered India to a 66-run victory over Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday as the pre-tournament favourites finally registered a win at the T20 World Cup.
A 47-ball 74 by Rohit and Rahul’s haul of 69 from 48 balls laid the foundations for India to post a target of 210 runs that the Afghan team were unable to reach.
Their victory has now given India, who had a poor net run rate, a lifeline in Group 2 following heavy defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two matches.
Following Wednesday’s match, India have now moved above Namibia into fourth place in the group. With unbeaten Pakistan the runaway leaders on eight points.
While Afghanistan is still in second place on the board, the remaining semi-final berth is still up for grabs.
If Afghanistan are to carry on their T20 World Cup journey they need to beat New Zealand in their final match and finish the group with a superior net run rate to both India and the Kiwis.
Lose to New Zealand, the team will be out.
ACB names players for five-match T20I series against Ireland
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the 16-member squad for the five T20I matches against Ireland scheduled to take place this month.
All matches will take place in Ireland and start on August 9. The tournament will run through until August 17.
According to the ACB, the team will leave for Ireland on Friday.
Mohammad Nabi will captain the team. The other players are as follows: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Darwish Rasooli, Karim Jannat, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Umarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq, Farid Malik, and Naveen ul Haq.
The reserves are Qais Ahmed, Usman Ghani, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Najat Masoud.
Noorul Haq Malikzi, the ACB’s head of the selection committee said: “We have selected a team for Ireland, which I am sure will have great achievements, because our priority is talent, young players, their performance and strength.”
The Afghanistan Cricket Board says that one of the goals of these competitions is to prepare for the Asia Cup and the World Cup, which will start in September and October respectively.
Ireland announce squad for South Africa, Afghanistan T20Is
Ireland on Wednesday announced their squad for the two T20Is against South Africa as well as the first three games of the five-match series against Afghanistan in August 2022.
The selectors have kept faith in the group that played the three-match T20I series against New Zealand recently by retaining the same 14-member squad for the upcoming series against South Africa (two matches) and Afghanistan (three of the five matches).
Despite being whitewashed 3-0 at home by New Zealand, there were several positives for Ireland, including the lower-order batting form of Mark Adair and Curtis Campher. Paul Stirling gave yet another glimpse of his white-ball exploits with a 29-ball 40 in the final T20I, the ICC reported.
Amongst the bowlers, Josh Little finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series with eight wickets in three games including a four-for in the second T20I.
Squad: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young
Speaking on the squad selection, Chair of National Men’s Selectors Andrew White said: “We are now getting down to the final stages of our preparations as we build towards the Men’s T20 World Cup in October.
“The squad has faced two high-quality opponents in recent weeks, in India and New Zealand, and have stern tests ahead against South Africa and Afghanistan.
“We believe, while the results have not gone our way, the brand of cricket that [head coach] Heinrich Malan is instilling in the squad is showing positive signs and the players are beginning to equip themselves well as they build towards the World Cup in Australia.
“We have, however, sought to give ourselves a level of selection flexibility later in the Afghan series, and will announce a squad for the final two T20Is of that series in due course.”
The upcoming series against South Africa and Afghanistan will be the dress rehearsal for Ireland going into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year. After failing to make it to the Super 12 last year in Oman and UAE, Ireland will be eager to make a mark later this year in Australia.
This year, they are pitted against Scotland, West Indies and Zimbabwe in Group B in the First Round that begins on 16 October.
Afghans to take part in World Team Chess Tournament in India
Afghanistan will have a seven-member chess team in India this week for the 44th World Team Chess Tournament.
According to the General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan (GDoPESA), the tournament will start on Wednesday and run through until August 10.
This event takes place every two years and 188 countries are sending teams for the men’s division.
“Fortunately, Afghanistan will also compete among these countries,” a GDoPESA statement read.
The participants of this event from Afghanistan are as follows:
1. Obaidullah Qureshi, team leader
2. Khyber Farazi, the team captain
3. Seyed Wahabuddin Mirzad, player
4. Habibullah Amini, player
5. Mohammad Sepehr Sakhawatti, player
6. Mohammad Yousef Muradi, player
7. Suleiman Ahmad Ashrafi, player
This global event will be held over eleven rounds on the Swiss system.
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in five team categories while individual medals will also be awarded to the best players.
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