Image Courtesy: ICC
Afghanistan stunned hosts New Zealand to reach the last four of the ongoing U19 World Cup, sending a message to more fancied opponents that they were not a side to be taken lightly. The Afghan team dismantled the home side, New Zealand, in perhaps the most comprehensive manner imaginable, winning by 202 runs in Hagley Oval.
After opting to bat, four Afghanistan batsmen scored half-centuries – Rahmanullah Gurbaz (69), Ibrahim Zadran (68), Bahir Shah (67 not out) and the incredible Azmatullah Omarzai (66 off just 23). Thereafter, having posted a mammoth 309/6, Mujeeb Zadran (4/14), the mystery spinner, and Qais Ahmed (4/33), the leggie, ran through the line-up, bundling the hosts for 106 to set up a semi-final clash with Australia.
Afghanistan’s margin of victory against New Zealand - 202 runs is the largest ever suffered by the Kiwis, and the second largest suffered by any Full Member at an ICC U19 World Cup, behind India’s 234-run victory over England in the semi-final of the 2006 competition. It is Afghanistan’s second largest victory, behind their 226-run thrashing of Fiji at the 2016 edition.
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