Afghanistan cricket team consolidated their place in the second round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 by defeating Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the Bryan Lara Cricket Academy. The victory kept Afghanistan unbeaten and ended New Zealand’s hopes of advancing to the group stage. Let’s dive into the details of this exciting match and how Afghanistan’s strategic play led them to victory.

Papua New Guinea started their match with a quick 10 points from the first 10 balls, showing early intent. However, Afghanistan’s outstanding performance soon turned the tide. Assad Vala was saved from danger by Fazalhaq Farooqi’s onslaught. This set the tone for the struggle in Papua New Guinea.

Farooqi then struck two consecutive knocks and Naveen-ul-Haq also joined the fray, claiming two crucial wickets, including that of Tony Ullah. PNG found themselves at a precarious 30/5 at the end of the Powerplay.

Despite the efforts of Chad Soper and Kipling Doriga to rebuild, poor communication led to another failure and the situation worsened. Norman Vanua’s unfortunate dismissal, with his bat stuck on the pitch, highlighted Papua New Guinea’s woes. Afghanistan’s bowlers and fielders were brutal, restricting Papua New Guinea to 95 out.

Fazalhaq Farooqi: 16/3 in 4 overs, played a major role in dismantling Papua New Guinea’s batting line-up.
Naveen-ul-Haq: A crucial wicket in the Powerplay, adding pressure on Papua New Guinea.
The Chase in Afghanistan: Robust and well thought out

Afghanistan were aiming for a miniscule score of 95 but ran into trouble early in the tournament, losing both openers in the first three overs. However, Gulbadin Naib steadied the ship and led the way with a clinical innings. Afghanistan ended the Powerplay on 39/2.

Despite losing another wicket in the ninth over, Nab’s well-planned attack ensured that the chase remained on track. He top-scored with an unbeaten 49 off 36 balls, sealing the victory with 6 balls to lead Afghanistan to a win of 101/3 in 15.1 overs.

Gulbadin Naib: 49* off 36 balls, stabilized the innings and ensured a smooth chase.

What was the final score of the match between Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea?

Afghanistan went all out in pursuit of Papua New Guinea’s 95 and ended up at 101/3 in 15.1 overs.

Who is Afghanistan’s best player?

Fazalhaq Farooqi with a score of 16/3 and Gulbadin Naib with a score of 49* were the top performers.

How did Papua New Guinea perform in each innings?

Papua New Guinea struggled against Afghanistan’s bowling and were bowled out for 95 runs.

What was the turning point of the game?

Assad Vala’s dismissal early in Papua New Guinea’s innings shifted the momentum in Afghanistan’s favour.

Who will Afghanistan face next?

Afghanistan will play a warm-up match against West Indies on June 18.

Afghanistan’s victory over Papua New Guinea was a testament to their strategic brilliance and disciplined performance. Fazalhaq Farooqi’s all-round performance and Gulbadin Naib’s solid performance ensured that their team remained unbeaten and qualified for the second round of the 2024 T20 World Cup. As they prepare to face the West Indies next, Afghanistan’s form and confidence suggest they are real contenders this tournament.

By Robin

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