The Group 1 fixture between England and Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup ended with England successfully chasing down Afghanistan’s 112 with five wickets to spare. Although it was not the most clinical of run chases for England, captain Jos Buttler would be happy with a win in their first match of the tournament.

Afghanistan lost all their wickets with two balls to spare in the final over of the match. Thanks to Ibrahim Zardan’s 32-ball 32 and Usman Ghani’s 30-ball 30, the Afghanis managed a decent total of 112 in 19.4 overs. 

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Sam Curran of England had an effective spell with the ball taking five wickets in 3.4 overs and conceding only 10 runs. Ben Stokes and Mark Wood took two wickets each in their four-over spell with the ball.

When Afghanistan came out to defend the total, their sloppy fielding throughout England’s chase gradually took the match away. They dropped two catches and given the small total they were defending against a team like England, it made all the difference for them.

England, on the other hand, put up a tight fielding performance which gave them a run rate of less than 6 per over to start with.

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However, the Afghani bowlers put up a good performance and kept England on edge for the longest time. The contest started slipping away from their hand when Liam Livingstone scored a 21-ball 29 not out sealing the fate of Afghanistan. England reached their target with one entire over and five balls to spare.

England will face neighbours Ireland at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. The match will start early in the morning at 9:30 pm IST. Afghanistan will face New Zealand next at the same venue in Melbourne from 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.