SHARJAH: Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman took five wickets in Afghanistan’s record 130-run rout of Scotland in their opening Super 12s match of the Twenty20 World Cup on Monday. Chasing a daunting 191 for victory, Scotland were bowled out for 60 in 10.2 overs with five batters dismissed for ducks in Sharjah.
Mujeeb returned his best T20 figures of 5-20 and fellow spinner Rashid Khan claimed four wickets to hand Afghanistan their biggest victory margin in the game’s shortest format. Najibullah Zadran set up the win with his 34-ball 59 to guide Afghanistan to their best total of 190-4 in the tournament after they elected to bat first.
Mujeeb remained the hero with his three wickets in one over, including two in successive deliveries, to decimate Scotland’s top and middle order. Scotland, who made the Super 12s of this event for the first time after they won all three matches in the qualifiers, could never recover after Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross fell without scoring, and the team crashed to their lowest T20 total.
Earlier, Najibullah and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46) put together an attacking 87-run partnership for the third wicket, tearing into the Scotland bowling with seven sixes between them.
Najibullah fell on the final ball of the innings while attempting his fourth six in a 34-ball blitz that took Afghanistan past their previous tournament-high of 186 in 2016.
Hazratullah Zazai put on a quickfire opening stand of 54 with Mohammad Shahzad, who made 22. Zazai smashed 44 off 30 balls but Mark Watt denied the batsman a fifty after bowling him with a toe-crushing yorker.
Safyaan Sharif took two wickets in an innings that witnessed 11 sixes in total. The win puts Afghanistan at the top of the Group 2 table above Pakistan, who thrashed rivals India by 10 wickets on Sunday.
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