T20 World Cup 2021: Match 17, Afghanistan vs Scotland – Who Said What

T20 World Cup 2021: Match 17, Afghanistan vs Scotland – Who Said What

Afghanistan brought Scotland's three-match winning streak to a painful end with a whopping 130-run victory.

Afghanistan cricket team
Afghanistan cricket team. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Afghanistan thrashed Scotland by 130 runs in Sharjah on the back of a spirited performance throughout the game where nothing went their adversary’s way. Afghan batters rebuked Scotland’s wayward lines and lengths to rack up their highest total in T20I – 190/4 – before Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan devoured the opposition batters to skittle them in 10.2 overs for a paltry 60, the lowest-ever by Scotland in their T20I history.

The belligerent hitting at the top of the order came by Hazratullah Zazai (44 off 30) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46 off 37), but the real whack was given by Najibullah Zadran, who smacked a 34-ball 59, with five fours and three sixes. Afghanistan never quite lifted their foot from the accelerator, finding boundaries at will: they hit 11 sixes and 13 fours in all with each Scottish bowler, keeping aside Mark Watt (1/23), taken to the cleaners.

With the required run rate above the nine-run mark from the onset, Scotland found themselves with hardly another option than to go bang-bang, which eventually led to their downfall, as Rahman, on T20 World Cup debut, claimed a five-wicket haul (5/20), four of which arrived inside the powerplay, whereas his accomplice Rashid, at his miserly best, scalped four for just nine runs in his 2.2 overs. The humungous loss not only brought Scotland’s three-match winning streak to a painful end but has pushed their net run rate into the abyss (-6.50).

Winning skipper Mohammad Nabi:

It’s important to win at the start of the tournament. This was our plan, to bat first and post a big total. Both the openers started well, we finished the powerplay on a good note. The running between the wickets was good, we rotated the strike really well and Najib played well to help as post such a big total. The world knows we have some good spinners in the form of Rashid and Mujeeb, they’ve played everywhere in the world. We have a very good team combination. When we play the local tournaments, I, Mujeeb and Rashid are the most expensive bowlers. Mujeeb is playing his first T20 World Cup match and he got the Player of the Match award, that’s good to see, it’s fantastic.

Losing skipper Kyle Coetzer:

Clearly wasn’t one of our better days. We have been playing some really good cricket but sometimes things don’t go according to plan. This is a very good Afghanistan team with very good bowlers and this was a slightly tricky pitch and they bowled fantastically, so need to give credit to them. But Watt bowled well for us today, he was brilliant. We fought hard in the field, it’s just a level check where the standards are. We got a bunch of players and we’ll try to reflect that and get ready for the next game. The belief in the players is the key. The last thing we want is the guys to go back to the hotel and slip away into their rooms. I don’t think they’ll do that, as a group we’ll sit together, take it in our stride, have a chat and try to bounce back.

Player of the Match Mujeeb Ur Rahman:

Very happy that we won our first match. This is my first World Cup game and I won the Man of the Match. The fans bring in a lot of energy and that’s why we played positive cricket tonight.