T20 World Cup 2022, Match 14: England vs Afghanistan - Talking points and Who Said What
Sam Curran broke the back of the Afghanistan innings with career-best bowling figures of 5/10.
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England's T20 World Cup campaign was off to a winning start after Jos Buttler's side earned a hard-fought victory against a spirited Afghanistan. Although there was much to be desired during the batting innings of both sides, the bowlers put on a show in Perth.
Jos Buttler's men managed to restrict the Asian outfit for a labored 112, a total that looked well short at the half-way mark in the match. But the Afghan bowlers made a real fist of it as England got over the line in the penultimate over of the match.
Before listening to the opinions of both skippers, lets look at the talking points from England's hard-earned victory.
England had the Afghan batters on the ropes since the outset with Mark Wood dishing out a fiery opening spell. But the turning point of the match has to be the Sam Curran spell. The star-allrounder, who has come in leaps and bounce since the turn of the year, registered record-setting bowling figures of 5/10. Curran became the first Englsihman to register a five-for in T20Is.
Afghanistan looked like a shadow of their selves in this fixture. But this isn't a rare failure for their batters as they have struggled in their last couple of outings after a sensational start to the Asia Cup earlier this year. Mohammad Nabi will need to galvanise his side for their upcoming fixtures
Winning skipper, Jos Buttler said:
Coming into the tournament, there's always a few nerves. We've been playing a lot of cricket to buld up to this point. There's a lot of anticipation. To get out there and get a win under our belt is fantastic. Fielding is a huge part of this game. It was a fantastic effort in the field. Mark Wood is always fun to keep wicket to, he's someone who can create catches like that, delighted to hang on to that. He's very vital. He's been backing up games and has been a great asset. He's in a good place and we'll try to look after him. (Curran at the death) I think he's got great character for that role. He's thriving with the extra responsibility. He enjoys the tough moments. He demands the ball in those situations which is a great attitude to have. The most pleasing thing about Sam is he always wants to bowl. Felt like the ball swung early, Afghanistan have a talented bowling attack, we were challenged and we had to pay respect to the bowlers. It could have been more fluent but I thought Afghanistan bowled well.
Losing skipper Mohammed Nabi said:
It was not a good start to the tournament, but we tried our best to play good cricket. Everyone knows England are one of the best T20 teams. The pitch was more suitable for England. We didn't put a good total on the board. They took 2-3 good catches. We thought 140-150 would be a good total to fight but we couldn't get there. This is our plan, if we put a good total, we have quality spinners. Me, Rash and Mujeeb have the experience of playing in the BBL. We'll look to learn from our mistakes and improve.
Player of the match Sam Curran said:
We saw the way the Afghanistan team made it quite tricky, we knew they had world-class spinners in the middle there. Nice to get the first win. Every team can beat anyone. Hopefully we take today's confidence into Wednesday's game and then the big one against Australia on Friday. Hopefully we can play with confidence. No better preparation than playing that many games. To come here and start with a win is obviously great. It'll be another tricky game against Ireland. I try to be as adaptable as possible (with the ball). I'm trying to get better at different phases and keep contributing. Really enjoying my cricket at the moment.
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