Gurbaz, Ibrahim and Farooqi hand Uganda a thrashing – ESPNcricinfo

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Afghanistan 183 for 5 (Gurbaz 76, Ibrahim 70, Masaba 2-21, Kyewuta 2-25) beat Uganda 58 (Farooqi 5-9) by 125 runs

Farooqi’s five-for apart, Naveen-ul-Haq and captain Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each as Afghanistan ruined Uganda’s introduction to cricket’s biggest event. Uganda would, however, take heart from their comeback with the ball. Afghanistan lost 5 for 31 in the last six overs of their innings to finish well below 200. Uganda captain Brian Masaba, who bowls spin, and fast bowler Cosmas Kyewuta took two wickets each.

Before the collapse, Gurbaz and Ibrahim had blasted 18 boundaries in the first 14 overs. Gurbaz made his 76 off 45 balls with four sixes and as many fours, while Ibrahim struck nine fours and a six in his 46-ball 70.

The Gurbaz-Ibrahim show

Gurbaz got things going when he lofted left-arm spinner Alpesh Ramjani to the stand beyond the long-off boundary off the second ball of the innings. Ibrahim struck Kyewuta through mid-on for his first boundary before wicketkeeper Simon Ssesazi dropped him on 16 off Ramjani.

He capitalised on the chance, hitting Dinesh Nakrani for four successive boundaries in the sixth over as Afghanistan ended the powerplay on 66 for 0. Gurbaz took his sixes tally to four when he struck Henry Ssenyondo for two maximums in consecutive overs. He brought up his eighth T20I fifty in the ninth over, before Ibrahim brought up their century stand in the following over.

Ibrahim also reached his seventh fifty in T20Is before launching into Bilal Hassan for his first six, a proper slog over midwicket. It was a tough 14th over for Hassan, who conceded five wides and then was hit for a four off a no-ball. He ended up giving away 25 runs in the over, after which Afghanistan lost their way.

Masaba leads Uganda’s recovery

Ibrahim fell in the 15th over to end his 154-run stand with Gurbaz, when he missed a tossed-up ball from Masaba. Ramjani then had Gurbaz hole out to deep square leg in the following over.

Masaba removed Najibullah Zadran in the 17th over, Nakrani taking the catch at the deep square leg boundary, before Kyewuta picked up his two wickets. He had Gulbadin Naib caught at long-on for four, and then in the final over, Azmatullah Omarzai skied one to short third.

It was a fine comeback from Uganda after they conceded at 10.85 in the first 14 overs. They didn’t give away a single boundary in the last six overs of the innings, the first such instance in the T20 World Cup.

Pace blows away Uganda’s top half

Farooqi and Naveen took two wickets each in the powerplay as Uganda slipped to 18 for 5. Farooqi removed Ronak Patel and Roger Mukasa off consecutive deliveries in the first over. Both deliveries were fast and swung in, leaving the two batters with little time to bring down their bat. Riazat Ali Shah kept out the yorker on the hat-trick ball but there was no respite for Uganda.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman had Ssesazi caught at short fine leg, before Naveen had Nakrani bowled off his inside edge in the fifth over. One ball later, Ramjani edged Naveen to Naib at first slip. It was Uganda’s first appearance at a World Cup, and Afghanistan underlined the gulf between the two sides.

Farooqi has five in the bag

Riazat and Robinson Obuya kept Afghanistan at bay for 7.3 overs as they added 29 runs for the sixth wicket. But the former’s 34-ball vigil ended when Farooqi, back into the attack for his third over, cleaned him up. He had captain Masaba caught behind off the next ball before Obuya, Uganda’s top scorer on the day with 14 runs, was also caught behind in the same over to hand Farooqi his five-for. Rashid took the two remaining wickets, trapping Hassan lbw and bowling Ssenyondo next ball.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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