Afghanistan vs New Zealand: Afghanistan defeats New Zealand in T20 World Cup; Rashid Khan says team focussed on its own skills rather than opponent – BusinessLine

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Afghanistan’s Captain Rashid Khan always wanted his teammates to have faith in their own abilities instead of fretting over their opposition’s strengths and he was ecstatic that it’s exactly what they did during Afghanistan’s memorable 84-run victory over New Zealand in the T20 World Cup game. here.

Defending 159, Afghanistan shot out New Zealand for 75 with left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi and the skipper himself decimating the opposition with four wickets apiece.

“Now, we need to beat the teams with our own skills rather than think about the opposition and that’s the only thing I have been telling the guys like just make sure we look into our skills,” Rashid said during the post-match presentation ceremony.

For Rashid, it is the effort that matters more than the results as he believes that if a team is good enough, results take care of itself.

“It doesn’t matter whoever we play, it’s more about how good you are, how good you’re going to play and what type of energy you are coming with into the ground and that for me is very important.

“I don’t care about the result a lot to be honest. I care more about the effort we put, that’s something which gives me lots of pleasure.”

In last year’s ODI World Cup, Afghanistan famously stunned England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, while in the 2016 T20 World Cup, they secured a memorable win over eventual champions West Indies.

“We haven’t had those victories in T20 World Cups. We had in ODI, but in T20, I feel like this was one of the best performance from the guys,” said the skipper who starred in his masterful bowling act of 4/17.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz blasted 80 from 56 deliveries while fellow opener Ibrahim Zadran added 44 from 41 to give them a flying start.

In reply, left-arm seamer Farooqi, who claimed five wickets against Uganda on Monday, grabbed 4/17 from just 3.2 overs, matching his skipper’s bowling figures.

“It’s not just about a single guy…it’s a great team effort, the way Gurbaz and Ibrahim started the innings.

For Afghans, cricket is their biggest source of joy and Rashid was thankful to the fans, who don’t care about time difference when the national team’s match is aired live.

“They don’t miss our games. We play at 3am, 4am or 1am, they’re always up. Not only in Afghanistan, all around the world, wherever they are, they’re going to watch the game. They don’t miss the game.

“Cricket is a biggest source of happiness back home. And I’m very sure this will give them so much to enjoy, to celebrate this victory,” he said.

Williamson blames it on sloppy fielding New Zealand were sloppy in the field and wasted multiple opportunities to dismiss the Afghan opening pair which stitched together a 103-run stand.

“Our fielding didn’t help our cause without a doubt. That would be the most frustrating part for me. It is something we pride ourselves on so that was very disappointing.”

New Zealand arrived for the World Cup on May 23, only to play their first match after more than two weeks.

“I mean look everybody’s preparation was different and for us it’s just head down and focusing on what we can do and prepare as well as we can. We certainly did that to the best of our ability. So, no excuses, but yeah, incredibly frustrating performance wise,” he added.

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