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T20 World Cup 2024: Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rashid Khan lead Afghanistan to a stunning victory over New Zealand

Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rashid Khan led their team to a decisive victory over New Zealand in the T20 World Cup 2024, leaving the Kiwis on the back foot early in the tournament.

T20 World Cup 2024: Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rashid Khan lead Afghanistan to a stunning victory over New Zealand osf
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First Published Jun 8, 2024, 8:24 AM IST

Afghanistan made history by defeating New Zealand for the first time in a T20 World Cup match, securing a comprehensive 84-run victory that propelled them to the top of the points table.

New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl, but the decision backfired as Afghanistan's openers Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz put on a century partnership for the first wicket. Zadran was dismissed for 44, while Gurbaz continued his fine form with a superb innings of 80 off 51 balls. In the final over, Trent Boult picked up two wickets to limit Afghanistan to 159 for 6.

However, the target proved too much for New Zealand to chase. Fazalhaq Farooqi made an early breakthrough, dismissing Finn Allen with the first ball of the innings.

Afghanistan's performance was nothing short of demolition. The target of 160 runs was always going to be challenging, and New Zealand's lack of recent match practice was evident as they crumbled under pressure. The downfall began with Finn Allen's dismissal off the first ball, and Fazalhaq soon followed by dismantling the top-order with three quick wickets during the batting powerplay.

The middle-order was vulnerable, and Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi took full advantage, contributing to a feast of wickets. Only Glenn Phillips and Matt Henry managed to reach double digits, highlighting the extent of New Zealand's humiliation in the 84-run defeat. This loss has placed New Zealand on the back foot early in the tournament. Afghanistan executed their game plan perfectly in Guyana, securing two wins and four points in the group stage.

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