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Dotted with Riveting Highs: Afghanistan's Storied CWC 2023 Campaign

CWC 2023: Afghanistan's magnificent campaign that everyone would be proud of. Top positives from Afghanistan's CWC 2023 campaign.


CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka_  Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka and move to 5th place in points table _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ACBofficials_Twitter
Afghanistan finish CWC 2023 with 4 wins (Images: ©ACBofficial/Twitter)

Afghanistan concluded their impressive campaign in the 2023 Cricket World Cup with a commendable performance, despite ending on a losing note against South Africa. Reflecting on their journey, it's evident that Afghanistan has much to be proud of in this edition.


In stark contrast to their previous ODI World Cup appearances, Afghanistan's 2023 campaign marked a fairy tale progression. Their previous records, with just one win in 2015 and a winless run in 2019, pale in comparison to the four victories they secured in this tournament. Notably, Afghanistan's triumph over reigning champions England was the catalyst for their extraordinary run, followed by victories against former champions Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and overcoming the Netherlands in the battle of the giant killers.


Despite their success, the team's head coach, Jonathan Trott, maintained a grounded approach, setting the target of reaching three-figure marks for his batters. This target was achieved notably by Ibrahim Zadran, who became Afghanistan's first centurion in ODI World Cups with a stellar 129* against Australia, propelling Afghanistan to a record score of 291/5.


While the target of 292 almost proved sufficient, Afghanistan faced a formidable Australian side, and it took a remarkable innings from Glenn Maxwell (201* off 128 balls) to secure victory. Afghanistan's exceptional run ensured a sixth-place finish, triumphing over defending champions England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands on the points table, guaranteeing them a spot in the 2025 Champions Trophy.



High Point of the World Cup

Undoubtedly, the high point for Afghanistan was their victory against defending champions England in Delhi. This shock win marked the beginning of Afghanistan's fairy tale run, with subsequent triumphs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The support they received at the Arun Jaitley Stadium added sweetness to their success, creating an unforgettable moment in the tournament.


Low Point of the World Cup

Afghanistan's lowest point came when they were on the brink of a historic achievement. After defeating England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, they had Australia on the ropes at 91/7 while chasing 292. However, Glenn Maxwell's extraordinary knock turned the tables, shattering Afghanistan's semi-final hopes. It was a heartbreaking moment for the high-flying Afghan team.


CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Pakistan_ Rahmanullah Gurbaz-Ibrahim Zadran put up 130-run stand against Pakistan _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ACBOfficials_Twitter)
Gurbaz-Zadran form a formidable opening pair (Photo: ©ACBOfficials/Twitter)

Best-performing Player

Several players showcased exceptional performances, making the selection challenging. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz contributed lively knocks with 280 runs, while Ibrahim Zadran's historic century and 376 runs at an impressive average of 47 marked him as a standout performer. Rahmat Shah's consistent half-centuries (320 runs), Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi's leadership and 310 runs, and all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai's 353 runs with a 70.60 average and seven wickets showcased the team's depth and resilience.



Player that Disappointed

In contrast, Mohammad Nabi emerged as the most disappointing player for Afghanistan in this World Cup. As a former captain, Nabi's limited contribution of six wickets and 65 runs fell short of expectations. Despite not batting in three successive matches, when he did, he failed to produce meaningful contributions. The World Cup became a challenging chapter for the seasoned all-rounder.


In summary, Afghanistan's journey in the 2023 Cricket World Cup was a tale of triumphs, highs, and a few heartbreaks. Their resilience and remarkable performances have undoubtedly elevated their status on the global cricketing stage, setting the stage for an even more promising future.


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