In a match that will be remembered for ages, Afghanistan breathed life into the 2023 World Cup by defeating defending champions England at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. This historic victory marked Afghanistan’s only second win in World Cup history and broke their 14-match losing streak, which included a winless 2019 campaign. In contrast, this defeat was a harsh reality check for England.
Afghanistan’s victory was powered by the spin trio of Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Rashid Khan. These three spin wizards combined to pick eight wickets, wreaking havoc in the English lineup. As batting legend Sachin Tendulkar highlighted, England’s inability to read these spinners from their hands was a major flaw.
While praising Afghanistan’s remarkable achievement, Sachin Tendulkar pointed out why England’s batters struggled.
“Wonderful all-round effort by Afghanistan led by a solid knock from @RGurbaz_21. Bad day for @ECB_cricket. Against quality spinners, you have to read them from their hand, which the England batters failed to do. They read them off the pitch instead, which I felt led to their downfall. Loved the energy they carried on the field. Well played, @ACBofficials!” Sachin posted.
Wonderful all-round effort by Afghanistan led by a solid knock from @RGurbaz_21.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 15, 2023
Bad day for @ECB_cricket.
Against quality spinners, you have to read them from their hand, which the England batters failed to do. They read them off the pitch instead, which I felt led to their… pic.twitter.com/O4TACfKh21
The English batting order faced an early setback when Fazalhaq Farooqi provided the first breakthrough for Afghanistan in just the second over of the innings. However, the spinners inflicted real damage, with Rashid and Mujeeb picking three wickets each and Nabi bagging the other two. This sensational collapse saw the 2019 World Cup winners fold for 215 runs in 40.3 overs
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Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag expressed doubts about England’s title defense campaign. He suggested that England and Australia struggle to reach the top 4, indicating the competitive nature of the World Cup.
“Looks like Eng and Aus are going to struggle to reach the top 4. #ENGvsAFG,” he posted.
Looks like Eng and Aus are going to struggle to reach the top 4.#ENGvsAFG— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 15, 2023
Australia also finds itself challenging as England faces uncertainty in the World Cup. They have a crucial game against Sri Lanka, and the match is a must-win for both teams. This match could determine the tournament’s future of these two cricketing giants.