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Posted: Tuesday 4 June, 2024 at 6:14 PM

All-round Afghanistan Manhandles Uganda at T20 World Cup

By: Staff Reporter in Guyana,

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Debutants Uganda received a harsh lesson in T20 cricket at the highest level, as they were thrashed by 125 runs by an all-round Afghanistan team at the Providence Stadium in Guyana last evening.


    Rahmanullah Gurbaz's familiarity with the surface was evident as he smashed the second ball over long-on for a massive six, setting the tone for the innings.


     Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran scored 66 runs during the powerplay, clearly intent on asserting their dominance over their associate opponents. This was not the start Uganda wanted after they won the toss and chose to field. Their nerves were evident in the first few overs as they made basic mistakes in the field. Gurbaz and Zadran were very aggressive in running between the wickets, turning ones into twos and constantly taking sharp singles. The opening partnership reached 100 in the 10th over, setting Afghanistan up for a big total.


    A 25-run over off Bilal Hassan took the score and the partnership past 150, with Afghanistan looking set for well over 220 at this stage. However, Uganda finally broke the partnership when Brian Masaba dismissed Ibrahim Zadran for a well-played 70 off 46 balls. Rahmanullah Gurbaz perished in the next over for an entertaining 76 off 45 balls, which included 4 fours and 4 sixes, while attempting a slog sweep off the bowling of Alpesh Ramjani. The other batsmen struggled with the pace of the wicket as Afghanistan managed only 29 runs while losing 5 wickets in the last 6 overs of the innings. 


    Afghanistan ended with a respectable total of 183/5 off their 20 overs.


    Brian Masaba was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2-21 off his 4 overs. The other wicket-takers were Cosmas Kyewuta with 2-25 and Alpesh Ramjani with 1-33.


    Uganda began their reply in spectacular fashion as Ronak Patel played a lovely extra cover drive for four off Fazalhaq Farooqi's first ball of the innings. However, any thought of an upset by the associate nation was quickly extinguished as Farooqi claimed two Ugandan wickets in his next two deliveries. Riazat Ali Shah survived the hat-trick ball, but things got even worse for the African team as Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed the other opener, Simon Ssesazi, for four, leaving Uganda at 8 for 3 after two overs.


    Naveen-ul-Haq then removed two more batters in the fifth over, reducing Uganda to 18 for 5. They limped through the powerplay without further loss, ending on 21 for 5. A 29-run partnership between Riazat Ali Shah and Robinson Obuya brought some stability to the Ugandan innings.


    Fazalhaq Farooqi returned for a second spell and removed Shah and Captain Brian Masaba in consecutive deliveries, putting him on a hat-trick for the second time in the match. Again, he was denied his hat-trick but managed to have Obuya caught behind at the end of his third over to complete his five-wicket haul. Captain Rashid Khan quickly ended the Ugandan innings, taking two wickets in two balls to finish the Ugandan innings at 58. Rashid Khan will be on a hat-trick when he bowls his first delivery on Friday against New Zealand.


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