Afghanistan Vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup: Farooqi, Rashid Fashion AFG's Historic 84-Run Win

Rahmanullah Gurbaz struck 80 off 56 deliveries, and New Zealand were bowled out for just 75 runs in pursuit of Afghanistan's 160-run target. This was the Afghans' first-ever T20I victory against the BlackCaps

Rashid Khan, AFG vs NZ, T20 World Cup 2024 match 14, AP photo
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan celebrates after dismissing New Zealand's Mark Chapman during their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence. Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa

'Tis the season of major upsets. Or so it seems, looking at how the T20 World Cup 2024 has kicked off. After co-hosts United States stunned Pakistan and Canada prevailed over Ireland, a charged-up Afghanistan completely outplayed the rusty New Zealand, conjuring an 84-run pasting in their Group C clash at the Providence Stadium in Guyana, West Indies. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

Chasing the Afghan target of 160 runs, NZ looked utterly clueless in the face of Rashid Khan and Fazalhaq Farooqi's skillful bowling, and folded for a measly 75-run total in 15.2 overs. This was Afghanistan's first-ever T20I victory over New Zealand.

Farooqi continued his dream beginning in this edition of the 20-over showpiece, returning sensational figures of 4-17 to accompany his deadly fifer (5-9) against Uganda in Afghans' opener. Skipper Rashid returned identical figures as Farooqi, and together they broke the back of the NZ batting.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz earlier followed up his 45-ball 76 against Uganda with another superb knock against the fancied BlackCaps. The hard-hitting Afghan opener started sedately but cut loose in the latter half of the innings, smashing five sixes and as many fours to finish with a sparkling 80 off just 56 deliveries.

Gurbaz was ably supported by opening partner Ibrahim Zadran (44 off 41) and despite three quick wickets in a fabulous final over by Trent Boult, the Afghans posted a decent total of 159 runs on the board.

The total eventually turned out to be far more than decent, as Rashid and Co ran rampant through the Kiwi batting order. The Afghan captain first sent back his opposite number Kane Williamson, then accounted for Mark Chapman and Michael Bracewell off successive deliveries to leave the Kiwi batting in tatters.

But it was Fazalhaq Farooqi who set the tone once again for Afghanistan, striking off the first ball of the innings and then again in his second and third overs to jolt the Kiwis in the powerplay.

Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi complemented their efforts with two crucial strikes, as the Kiwis' lack of match practice was painfully evident. Consequently, Kane Williamson's team were bowled out for 75 runs with 28 balls left unfaced.

Earlier, Williamson won the toss and decided to bowl first. The match was the campaign opener for New Zealand, who have headed into the T20 World Cup without playing any warm-up match. The last T20 international match the Kiwis played before this one was back in April against Pakistan, as part of a five-match away series that was drawn 2-2.

As for Afghanistan, it was the second match of the tournament. Rashid Khan's team handed a 125-run thrashing to Uganda in their opening game, and played a couple of warm-up games in Port of Spain before that.

Playing XIs

Afghanistan: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh(c), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade(w), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

New Zealand: Kashyap Prajapati, Pratik Athavale(w), Aqib Ilyas(c), Zeeshan Maqsood, Khalid Kail, Ayaan Khan, Shoaib Khan, Mehran Khan, Shakeel Ahmed, Kaleemullah, Bilal Khan.

Afghanistan will next face Papua New Guinea on June 14 in Tarouba, while the BlackCaps will also head to Tarouba next for their clash against co-hosts West Indies on June 13.