Afghanistan Stuns New Zealand to Register a Record Win in T20 WC 2024

New Zealand went in as clear favourites to hand Afghanistan a trouncing at the ICC Twenty20 (T20) World Cup 2024. However, the Kiwis were in for a rude shock as the Afghans showed them no respect before grabbing an 84-run victory. The defeat means Afghanistan records one of their widest victory margins against top opposition at this tournament.

New Zealand’s defeat to Afghanistan is one of the T20 WC 2024’s top moments in a tournament littered with upsets so far. With about 20 game results in, the group stage looks set for more shock upsets before Match 40.

Afghanistan’s Skipper Talks About the AFG vs NZ Game

Rashid Khan is Afghanistan’s skipper and had this to say about his team’s performance at the post-match press conference:

It’s one of the greatest performances from us, especially in T20 and against New Zealand – a big team, it wasn’t an easy wicket to score on but they [the openers] took it deep. It’s a great win and a great feeling to lead this win against New Zealand.”

Victory for Afghanistan means they now top the so-called “Group of Death”, a group that includes The West Indies who are two-time winners. Khan hailed his teammates’ abilities after they secured the win, citing their run-limiting skills as a major advantage:

Anything 160-170 that we score on these wickets then we are going to have a chance with our bowlers. The seamers and the spinners started well – especially Nabi. If we use our skills, it will be very hard for the opponents to score runs.”

The skipper also documented Afghanistan’s team effort and ability to play a good game irrespective of the odds:

We have to give 100 percent effort and energy whether we win or lose. For me, effort is everything – I don’t care about losing or winning. The energy around the team makes me more happy.”

Gurbaz Bags Player of the Match Award

Rahmanullah Gurbaz put in a serious shift throughout this encounter to ensure an embarrassing defeat of New Zealand. The cricketer managed to extend his sizzling form, seeing off responses from Kiwis in stellar fashion. He bagged the Aramco Player of the Match (POTM) award for his brilliant performances throughout his game.

Kane Williamson Laments Kiwis’ Poor Form

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson wasn’t happy about his team’s performance, singling out fielding problems as a major reason for defeat:

Our fielding was a let-down, particularly in the first 10 overs, we had our chances and we didn’t use them. We didn’t take our opportunities and it goes a long way in changing the outcome of the match. Once they had a score, their bowlers executed their skills well. We’ll have a talk about this and then look to come back well in the next match,”

Williamson congratulated Afghanistan shortly after, admitting his team got outplayed at every turn:

Congratulations to Afghanistan. They outplayed us in all aspects of the game, they scored a good total on a tough surface but it simply wasn’t good enough for us.”

New Zealand now have to come up with a strong performance against co-hosts and previous T20 WC champions – The West Indies. Williamson believes the team must put in better shifts to stand any chance against the Windies:

It’s about taking a step in the right direction first because that performance was not good enough. We know we have a challenge coming up in West Indies, but it’s about us being better.”

Cricket Royalty Hail Afghanistan’s Performance

Harsha Bhogle

Skilled cricketer Harsha Bhogle praised the Afghans and their performances across all aspects of the game after this win. The cricketer highlighted early bowling successes from Afghan cricketers before their switch to high-scoring batting performances. He made this known through his X (formerly Twitter) handle @bhogleharsha:

How good have Afghanistan been! Overjoyed for them. They were a bowling side early on, still one of the better ones in this tournament, but now their batters are giving them the runs. They are doing many things right.”

Saeed Anwar

Cricket maestro Saeed Anwar heaped praise on Afghanistan’s progress in recent major tournaments. The player noted an upgrade in the cricket team’s status in recent years and feels they may not be underdogs anymore:

Afghanistan has been playing the best cricket in the last few major tournaments, of course if they beat any big teams now, we can’t call it upsets, they have quality batsmen and quality bowlers, Which they have been better and better day by day. Congratulations Afghanistan

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