Cricket in 2018: 10 best records that Afghanistan created this year
Here are the ten best records that Afghanistan and its players created in 2018.
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The year 2018 was a remarkable one for Afghanistan which saw their continuous stride towards becoming a top cricketing nation. The Afghans went on to clinch the Qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup by defeating Windies in the finals. They also defeated Zimbabwe and Ireland in the bilateral ODI series in 2018 and were brilliant on most occasions during the Asia Cup where they tied a game with India.
The Afghans defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh by huge margins in the group stage but last over defeats in Super-4s against Pakistan and Bangladesh led to their exit. The team owned a historic moment when they made their Test debut in Bangalore against India. They further kept improving their record in the T20I format by whitewashing Bangladesh.
Here are the ten best records that Afghanistan and its players created in 2018:
1. A five-fer with the new ball:
Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the youngest player to claim a five-wicket haul in ODI cricket when he picked up 5/50 against Zimbabwe during the bilateral series in Sharjah. The off-spinner was only 16 years and 325 days old at that point. Waqar Younis was the previous youngest having picked up 6/26 at the same venue in 1990 against Sri Lanka at the age of 18 years and 164 days.
2. The teenage prodigy:
In his way to becoming the youngest player to take a five-fer, Mujeeb also achieved a rare distinction. He became only the 2nd spinner to take an ODI five-fer while opening the bowling. Bermuda’s famous Dwayne Leverock took 5/53 against Kenya in 2006. Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya took 6/29 later in the second half of the year against South Africa.
3. Afghanistan spinners create havoc:
In the five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in 2018, the Afghanistan spinners collectively bagged 37 wickets. These are the most wickets a team’s spinners picked in a 5-match bilateral ODI series.
4. Rashid turns captain:
At the age of 19 years and 165 days, Rashid Khan led Afghanistan in an ODI against Scotland. Thus, Rashid became the youngest player in International cricket (Men/Women) to captain their team. He is the first teenage captain in Men’s International cricket as well.
5. Rashid becomes No.1:
Rashid touched the No.1 spot for the first time in the ICC Rankings when he became the No.1 bowler in ODIs in February. At the age of 19 years and 152 days, the leg-spinner became the first Male Cricketer to touch the No.1 ranking in any category and any format before turning 21.
6. Rashid completes 100 ODI wickets:
Rashid is the quickest bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets taking only 44 games; eight fewer than the previous fastest Mitchell Starc (52 ODIs). He is also the first player to take 100 ODI wickets before turning 20.
7. Rashid gets to 50 T20I wickets:
Rashid became the youngest player to complete 50 wickets in the T20I format at the age of 19 years and 256 days while no other player got there before turning 24. He is also the joint 2nd fastest to this milestone taking 31 matches.
8. Afghanistan and Nabi turn 100:
Afghanistan became the 14th country to feature in 100 ODI matches during the 2nd ODI game of the 3-match series in Ireland. All-rounder Mohammad Nabi featured in all the first 100 ODI matches played by Afghanistan. No other player has even featured in the country’s first 50 ODI games.
9. A birthday special:
On his 20th birthday, Rashid Khan scored an unbeaten 32-ball 57 and also picked up two wickets with the ball. Thus, he became the first player to score a fifty and take multiple wickets on birthday in an ODI game. His fifty is also the 2nd fastest by any player in an ODI on birthday behind Yusuf Pathan’s 29-ball 50* against England in 2008.
10. A year without a defeat:
Afghanistan featured in 7 T20I matches in 2018 and won all those matches. These are the most T20Is a team played in a calendar year going past England’s five matches in 2015. England won four of the five T20Is they played in 2015 and clinched another game in a Super Over that had ended in a Tie.
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