India handed their 2nd biggest defeat after Afghanistan notch up 8th successive win

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safari
31 Oct 2021 | 08:16 PM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

India handed their 2nd biggest defeat after Afghanistan notch up 8th successive win

Here are few noteworthy stats from Match 27 & 28 of ICC T20 World Cup 2021 between Afghanistan and Namibia and India and New Zealand

A super Sunday hasn’t been super for an Indian fan. On the other hand, it was an emotional day for Afghanistan in the first match. As a late call, T20Is most successful captain Asghar Afghan (former now), announced that his match against Namibia would be his last in internationals. After electing to bat first once again, their batting pattern was similar to their other matches. Flying start, stutter in the middle overs, but finishing off on a high. The skipper Mohammad Nabi’s unbeaten cameo off 32 at a strike rate of 188.2, helped them post 160 on board. Even in the absence of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Afghanistan bowlers were off to a perfect start. Naveen-ul-Haq was the star in the first six overs with two wickets. Hamid Hasan, making a return to the playing XI after missing 38 matches, bagged three wickets for just nine runs in his four overs. Naveen joined the experienced bowler with a three wicket-haul as Afghan bowlers once again delivered for them. In three matches, with two wins and +3.097 net run rate, Afghanistan are strongly placed.

In a virtual quarter-final, India were up against their worst nemesis in ICC trophies. Just like the tag “worst nemesis” suggested, India were nowhere near winning this match. From the start of the toss, everything went against Virat Kohli. Lost the toss, the experimentation of Ishan Kishan at the top and Rohit at three failed, India suffered another setback in the powerplay with the bat and as cherry on top, New Zealand spinners were all-over again. All India could manage was just 110 runs in their full quota of 20 overs. Without breaking their sweat, New Zealand chased the target down with eight wickets and 33 balls to spare. Here are a few notable stats from Match 27 & 28:

Afghan pacer make merry

Generally, it is the Afghan spinners who always take the limelight in their wins. However, today was special. In the absence of Mujeeb, Rashid Khan and Nabi were the only two spinners. Naveen started the proceedings with two wickets in the powerplay and one at the end. Hamid joined the party with a three-wicket haul in his comeback game and Gulbadin Naib chipped in with two wickets. The eight wickets bagged by Afghan pacers in this match is the most for them in a T20I game. Previously, twice their pacers had bagged seven wickets, once against Oman in 2015 and another against West Indies in 2019.

Namibia crawl to a low

Against a quality bowling line up like Afghanistan, batsmen need to be sensible. However, for Namibia, chasing 160 against them was a real tall task, considering how Afghans bowled against Pakistan. They had almost pulled the game against Pakistan even after scoring below 150. Early jolts in the powerplay and miserly bowling in the middle overs had already sealed the game for Afghans against Namibia. In their full 20 overs, all Namibia could post was 98 runs after losing nine wickets. In T20 WC, this was only the second time a team had scored a sub-100 score after batting full 20 overs without being all-out. Zimbabwe against South Africa in 2012 in Hambantota had posted 93/8 after batting a full 20 overs.

Fortress Abu Dhabi   

In the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan has been very strong, making the whole country as their fortress. Prior to their loss against Pakistan, they had won 17 consecutive T20I matches in UAE. Out of those 17, seven successive wins had come in Abu Dhabi. Their win today against Namibia ensured their eighth, the joint most consecutive wins at a venue. Only two other teams have as many wins at a venue in T20Is. England in Cardiff (Sophia Garden) have won all their eight T20Is played and Pakistan in Dubai have won all their previous eight matches in Dubai from September 2016 till now.

A drought of boundaries  

Just as Kohli said in his post-match presentation, Indian batsmen lacked intent. Following a boundary of the first ball of the sixth over, Indian boundary count suffered a drought. Throughout the middle overs there wasn’t one, which is the fourth time in T20Is that India had gone through this struggle. One of those was against New Zealand in the 2016 T20 WC. Finally, a boundary came after 71 balls when Hardik Pandya sliced over point to finish the 17th over. Only once have they played more balls between boundaries in a T20 innings and that was against Australia in 2008.

A squandered India hit low

From the outside, it looked as if Indian players were mentally and physically tired. All-in-all, they seemed to be lost or clueless as to what their winning combination is and their match against New Zealand was another example of it. This led to yet another dismal batting performance. Tumbling and trembling, they posted 110 runs on the board after losing seven wickets. This is their second lowest T20 WC total and their second lowest total after batting full 20 overs without being all-out.

Another heavy defeat

The suffering continued for India in consecutive matches. First, a massive 10-wicket loss against Pakistan, the first for India in T20Is. Today, it was against a team which has been a thorn in India’s lot of ICC matches. It was a complete batting disaster that led to an eight-wicket and 33 balls loss against New Zealand. In T20Is, this is their joint second biggest margin of defeat. Their worst defeat came against Australia in 2008 in Melbourne. The concerning part, out of their top six biggest defeats, three have come this year. This 33-ball defeat is their worst in T20 WC.

The invincible Kane Williamson

New Zealand have been invincible against India in ICC events whenever their ice-cool skipper, Kane Williamson has led them. Starting from the Nagpur T20I in 2016, till today, India have lost all six ICC event matches played against New Zealand under Williamson. Two T20Is (2016 and 2021) in the World Cup, one in the ODIs (2019) and three in Tests (ICC World Test Championship). No other captain has won more than three ICC event matches against India (In Men's senior ICC events).

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Afghanistan vs NamibiaIndia vs New ZealandICC World Twenty20, 2021AfghanistanNamibiaIndiaNew ZealandHamid HassanNaveen-ul-HaqMohammad NabiVirat KohliKane Williamson

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