Afghanistan were ruthless with the bat and clinical with the ball as they routed Scotland by 130 runs in their Super 12s opening match of the T20 World Cup at Sharjah on Monday. Mujeeb Ur Rahman was the wrecker in chief with 5-20 while Rashid Khan claimed 4-9 as Scotland were all out for 60 runs chasing a target of 191.
Batting first, Nazibullah Zadran struck a blistering 59 off 34 balls, while Hazratullah Zazai (44) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46) also produced superb knocks to power Afghanistan to 190/4 in 20 overs.
Scotland piled up 27 runs in the first three overs before Mujeeb scalped Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLoed and Richie Berrington in the space of five balls to dent the chase.
Wicket keeper Mohammad Shahzad then produced a stunning diving off pacer Naveen Ul Haq to remove Matthew Cross in the fourth over while Mujeeb came back to castle George Munsey (25) in the next over.
From 36/5, Scotland never recovered as Rashid Khan removed Michael Leask with his second ball of the match while Mujeeb completed his fifer by dismissing Mark Watt. By doing so, the 21-year old became the youngest bowler to claim a fifer in the T20 World Cup. Rashid then went for the kill by removing Chris Greaves, Josh Davey and Brad Wheal.
Earlier in the evening, Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad (22) got Afghanistan off to a flier, stitching 54 runs off just 35 balls. Shahzad then perished in the Safyaan Sharif's sixth over. Zazai continued to be bullish as he struck three sixes and three boundaries in his 30-ball knock before being bowled by Mark Watt.
Thereafter, Gurbaz and Zadran maintained the scoring rate as Afghanistan kept up the pressure on Scotland bowlers. While Gurbaz played steadily from one end, Zadran was attacking from the onset as Afghanistan reached 127 for two after 15 overs.
Gurbaz, while surviving a run-out chance and a big lbw shout, clobbered four sixes and a boundary in his 37-ball 46 before being caught by Coetzer off Davey. With wickets in hand, Afghanistan gathered 63 runs in the last five overs.