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After toppling England, Afghanistan eye few more scalps, says Shahidi

Last updated on 15 Oct 2023 | 04:48 PM
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After toppling England, Afghanistan eye few more scalps, says Shahidi

With the 69-run defeat, England have now lost two of their three games this World Cup

It was a historic day for Afghanistan as they overcame England by 69 runs in Delhi on Sunday (October 15). This was just the second win for Afghanistan in the World Cup, with the first one dating back to 2015 against Scotland. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman starred with both bat and ball, along with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80) and Ikram Alikhil (58), who set England a target of 285.

Their bowlers, too, stepped up to the plate when it mattered the most and ensured that the runs they got on the board was enough. While it is a historic moment, Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi says they do not want to stop here and have now set their sights on a few more in the tournament.

"I’m quite happy, all the teammates are happy. This is the best win for us, the confidence will be there for the next game and I’m very proud. The openers get a lot of credit. They gave us a great start, but unfortunately, we lost back-to-back wickets in the middle again, lot of credit to the openers though, especially Gurbaz," Shahidi said at the post-match presentation.

"I told the boys that 280-290 will be enough when I got back into the dressing room. I want to say that the belief, trust and talent is there. Last couple of games we didn’t finish well but the belief is there. This is just the first win, we are looking for more in the tournament. This was just the first one, not the last one."

Mujeeb, too could not hide his excitement. "Very proud moment to be here in the World Cup and beating the champions. It's a great achievement for the whole team, we worked hard for this day. We beat such a big team. It was a wonderful performance from the bowlers and the batters," he said after finishing with 3 for 51 and 28 off 16 down the order.

England now have lost two of their three games the defending champions have five more days to reflect ahead of their next game against South Africa in Mumbai on Saturday (October 21). Skipper Jos Buttler believes that there is a lot of character in the group to come back stronger.

"Disappointing to win the toss and concede that many, me missing that first ball down the leg side set the tone. Credit to Afghanistan, they outplayed us today. It came down to execution, we weren’t quite at the level we’d like to be with both bat and ball," Buttler said.

"You got to let these defeats hurt, there’s no point in getting over things too quickly, we need to reflect. There’s a lot of character in this group, we need to show a lot of resilience and come back stronger. We need to have guys being able to perform under pressure and that’s what all of us will be working hard towards."

After cruising past England, Afghanistan will now turn their attention to an in-form New Zealand side, who they play in Chennai on Wednesday (October 18).

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