Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan, Gulbadin Naib shared eight wickets among them.
Afghanistan 160 for 5 (Shahzad 45, Loftie-Eaton 21/2) beat Namibia 98 for 9 (Wiese 26, Hassan 9/3) by 62 runs
Afghanistan and Namibia were at odds in the 27th match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Namibia won their first game in the Super 12 round against Scotland due to the match-winning spell of Ruben Trumpelmann whereas Afghanistan lost their previous match against Pakistan by five wickets due to the quickfire knock of Asif Ali.
Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi won the toss and opted to bat first.
Hazratullah Zazai gives dazzling start to Afghanistan
Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai smashed two boundaries in the first over of the innings bowled by Ruben Trumpelmann. As left-handed batter Zazai continued to play his attacking strokes, Afghanistan registered 50 runs in the powerplay overs.
Zazai looked all set for a big knock but left-arm pacer JJ Smith became a boon for Namibia by taking his wicket, as Michael van Lingen took the catch at backwards square leg. Zazai made 33 runs off 27 balls comprising of four boundaries and two mammoth sixes.
Also, left-arm pacer Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton sent back Afghanistan’s one down batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz to the dugout for just 4 runs. Second opener Mohammad Shahzad danced down the wicket and whacked a gigantic six over cow corner off Loftie-Eaton. When Shahzad was looking like a threat to Namibia, their leading speedster Trumpelmann bagged his wicket on 45. Lofite-Eaton trapped Najibullah Zadran plumb in front of wicket on 7.
Final overs burst from Mohammad Nabi helped Afghanistan to 160
Next batter Asghar Afghan pummelled two boundaries off JJ Smit. Afghanistan skipper Nabi played some attacking shots in the final two overs to help his side to a respectable total of 160 runs in 20 overs.
Nabi finished his unbeaten whirlwind knock with 32 runs in just 17 balls studded with five dazzling boundaries and one six.
Namibia batters surrendered to Afghanistan bowlers
Craig Willaims and Michael van Lingen opened the batting for Namibia. Right-arm pacer Naveen-ul-Haq pushed Namibia on the backfoot by taking the wicket of Williams in the first over only. Lingen walked down the wicket and cudgelled a humongous six over the long-on boundary to spinner Nabi. However, he lost his wicket in the next over when he was on 11.
Namibia batters never looked comfortable facing Afghanistan bowlers. So, wickets continued to tumble in the next overs. Right-arm medium pacer Gulbadin Naib bagged the wicket of Loftie-Eaton while leggie Rashid Khan bowled Zane Green on just 1.
Also, right-arm fast bowler Hamid Hassan scalped two wickets, those of skipper Gerhard Erasmus and Smit in the eleventh over. Namibia all-rounder David Wiese made 26 runs off 30 balls and got bowled by Hassan. As wickets never stopped to fall, Namibia could score only 98 runs in 20 overs after losing 9 wickets and lost by 62 runs.
Afghanistan, with 4 points in three matches continue to remain at number 2 in Group 2 while Namibia are at number 3 with 2 points from two games.
What Lies Ahead
Losing side Namibia will play their next World Cup match against Pakistan on coming Tuesday in Abu Dhabi whereas Afghanistan will face India at the same venue on coming Wednesday.
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