‘Wanted to restrict England to below 100’ – Rashid
Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s teenage legspinner, believed “100%” that his team were on course for victory over England after they had claimed six wickets in the first 10 overs of their contest at Delhi. Instead, England recovered to post 142 for 7 and close out a victory that confirmed Afghanistan’s elimination from the tournament.
“We thought we had our game at 100%,” Rashid said. “But they played good cricket at the end, and that’s why they took the game away from us.”
After selecting four spinners and a solitary quick bowler in Shapoor Zadran, Afghanistan had designs on keeping their opponents to below 100. England had slipped to 57 for 6 and 85 for 7 before Moeen Ali and David Willey revived the pre-match favourites with an unbroken 57-run stand, allowing them to survive going toe-to-toe with Afghanistan.
“We planned to play simple cricket and see what happened,” Rashid said. “On that time, we thought we have to restrict them to under 100, we tried our best to restrict them under 100, but unfortunately they played good cricket, especially Moeen Ali, so they made it to 140.”
In reply, Afghanistan stuttered to 13 for 3 after three overs, which included the dismissal of their star batsman Mohammad Shahzad, for 4. Despite losing regular wickets, they still managed to take the game to the wire, Shafiqullah’s unbeaten 35 from 20 balls capping a spirited fightback that meant England could not be sure of victory until the final few deliveries.
“We didn’t start well, but we did well in the middle, we took responsibility,” said Rashid, who was promoted to No. 5 and made 15 in only his fourth T20I innings. “It was a good game, a close game, we will learn from it and in the future we will not repeat the same mistakes.”
Afghanistan may not be able to qualify for the semi-finals after three defeats from three in Group 1 but they will have one more chance to finish the tournament with victory over a Full Member when they take on West Indies in Nagpur on Sunday.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo