October 15, 2023, will go down as one of the greatest days in the history of Afghanistan cricket as the Afghans pulled off a major upset by defeating the England National Cricket Team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

England are the defending champions and one of the hot favorites to win the competition. However, they were hammered by the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led Afghanistan in the 13th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

Afghanistan registered a magnificent 69-run win over England in the World Cup match. This happened to be only the second Cricket World Cup win for the Afghans, which came eight years after their last win against Scotland in Australia.

Put in to bat on a wicket that had yielded big runs recently, Afghanistan posted 284 runs on the board, thanks to the sensational batting performances from Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80) and Ikram Alikhil (58).

While defending the target, they didn’t let England breathe and kept picking wickets at regular intervals to bundle them out for 215 in 40.3 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan bagged three wickets each. Mohammad Nabi got two wickets while Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi bagged one wicket each.

The last wicket of the match was picked by Rashid Khan as he dismissed Mark Wood. The leg-spinner bowled a slider on a length on middle and off-stump and Mark Wood went for a wild slog across the line, which he missed completely and the ball rattled his stumps.

As Mark Wood got out, the camera panned towards the veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who roared in celebration. Rashid Khan looked absolutely delighted after the win while Hashmatullah Shahidi shouted aggressively before the entire team gathered to celebrate the historic win.

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This is the best win for us – Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi

During the post-match presentation, Hashmatullah Shahidi said that he was very proud of his team after the win over England.

“I’m quite happy, all the teammates are happy. This is the best win for us, the confidence will be there for the next game and I’m very proud.”

He further credited the openers for providing a great start, which laid the foundation for a good total on the board. He elaborated:

“The openers get a lot of credit. They gave us a great start but unfortunately, we lost back-to-back wickets in the middle again, lot of credit to the openers though, especially Gurbaz. Ikram was with us for the last 2 years and didn’t get a lot of chances, today I believed in him and gave him a chance and he repaid my faith. Mujeeb batted brilliantly, he led from the front and scored important runs for us.”

Hashmatullah Shahidi added that there is a lot of belief, trust, and talent in the team and they are looking forward to winning more matches in the World Cup 2023. Afghanistan skipper said:

“We have to score runs, our batting lineup needs to score more for our spinners. We have a lot of confidence about our spinners. Fazal started very well, the first wicket gave us a lot of momentum. When I was batting, I realized the wicket wasn’t supportive for batters against spinners. 

“I told the boys that 280-290 will be enough when I got back into the dressing room. I want to say that the belief, trust and talent is there. Last couple of games we didn’t finish well but the belief is there. This is just the first win, we are looking for more in the tournament. This was just the first one, not the last one.”

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