Afghanistan gave a fitting farewell to their former captain Asghar Afghan after defeating Namibia by 62 runs in the Super-12 T20 World Cup match at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The team's current skipper Mohammad Nabi and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Shahzad lifted Afghanistan to post a competitive total of 160 for the loss of five wickets before Naveen-ul-Haq and Hamid Hassan picked up three wickets each to restrict Namibia to 98/9 in a one-sided contest. Namibia batters struggled to read the slower balls delivered by Afghanistan bowlers. Half of their side was back in the dugout by the half of the proceedings. Although David Wiese and Ruben Trumpelmann displayed some intent but could not build on it in front of top-class Afghanistan bowlers.
19:01 PM IST: Naveen-ul-Haq is the Player of the Match
Naveen-ul-Haq dedicates the award to his former skipper Asghar Afghan, who has announced his retirement from international cricket. ul-Haq says, "I made my debut under his (Asghar) captaincy, so I want to dedicate it to him." While Asghar praises ul-Haq, "Naveen showed his talent today".
Talking about his performance, ul-Haq says, "I was watching the first innings carefully, on how to bowl with the new ball". He adds, "It's special to bowl in front of the Afghanistan fans. I think Asghar has been the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced. We will be missing him a lot".
Asghar thanks Afghanistan supporters for cheering on the team and him too. Gulbadin Naib picked up Asghar on his shoulders before Afghanistan players hugged and thanked Asghar for his contribution.
18:57 PM IST: Afghanistan win
Naveen-ul-Haq goes for back-to-back boundaries while Karim Janat concedes four runs. But all in vain. It is too late for Namibia. Afghanistan have comprehensively won this one-sided contest. Namibia 98/9 (20)
18:43 PM IST: Afghanistan just one wicket away
A yorker from Hamid Hassan fetches him the wicket of David Wiese. There is an inside edge that ends up breaking the furniture of Wiese. Namibia 80/9 (16.5)
18:38 PM IST: Namibia on the brink of folding up
Another slower ball from Gulbadin Naib. And he picks up his second wicket. Pikky Ya France is caught and bowled. Namibia 77/8 (16)
18:32 PM IST: Catching practice for Afghanistan
Naveen-ul-Haq picks up his third wicket. Jan Frylinck plays it towards mid-off where Mohammad Nabi completes formalities. Namibia 69/7 (14.5)
18:17 PM IST: Two for Hamid Hassan
Here comes Hamid Hassan. Double strike for him too. He dismisses Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus with a perfect yorker. And two balls later gets rid of JJ Smit who ends up getting caught behind. Namibia 56/6 (11)
18:09 PM IST: Half-way through the innings
A flurry of wickets has forced half of Namibia batters to return to the dugout. So far it is Afghanistan who are ruling this one-sided contest. Namibia are struggling to read slower balls. Namibia 55/4 (10)
17:56 PM IST: Rashid strikes
Time for Rashid Khan with the ball. And he strikes with the first ball. Namibia's Zane Green is cleaned up and Rashid is off to his airplane celebration. Namibia 36/4 (7.1)
17:45 PM IST: JN Loftie-Eaton dismissed
Gulbadin Naib cleans up Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton. It seems the batter was expecting a fast one. But Gulbadin surprises with a slower ball. Loftie-Eaton misses and the ball hits his leg stump. Namibia 29/3 (5.2)
17:31 PM IST: Naveen-ul-Haq strikes again
Naveen-ul-Haq gets rid of the other opener too. On a slower ball, Michael van Lingen mistimed the ball and gets a leading edge to the square leg. Namibia are in trouble. Namibia 16/2 (2.4)
17:22 PM IST: Naveen-ul-Haq draws first blood
Craig Williams and Michael van Lingen in the middle for Namibia. Naveen-ul-Haq with the new ball. ul-Haq gets the first wicket. Williams swings the ball but gets caught at mid-on by substitute fielder Usman Ghani. Fantastic start for Afghanistan. Namibia 3/1 (1)
17:10 PM IST: Asghar Afghan speaks on his decision to retire
Afghan, who looks emotional, says he wants to give chance to youngsters. When asked why he is retiring in the middle of the tournament, he says it is something he can't explain. He adds, "In the last match, we were hurt too much, and that's why I decided to retire." He is constantly wiping his tears as he speaks. He says there are plenty of memories and it is difficult for him to retire but he has to.
Former skipper and national player @MAsgharAfghan played his last match today against Namibia, made important 31 runs and bade farewell to all formats of cricket with heavy heart. He received the guard of honor from his teammates.— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) October 31, 2021
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17:06 PM IST: Innings break!
51 runs came off the last five overs thanks to Mohammad Nabi's cameo. He smashed a 17-ball 32 not out to help his side post a challenging total. Afghanistan 160/5 (20)
17:01 PM IST: Asghar Afghan gone
Asghar dismissed one last time in his international career. Ruben Trumpelmann is the man with the wicket. Asghar tries to scoop the ball over short third man but ends up playing straight into the hands of Michael van Lingen at backward point. Namibia players give a pat on Asghar's back. Afghanistan players give their former captain a guard of honour. Afghanistan supporters too stand up to give a salute to their hero. Afghanistan 148/5 (19)
16:50 PM IST: 16 runs off Smit
Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi at the crease. He takes charge. Smashes three boundaries off JJ Smit. That's an expensive over to finish off the four-over quota. Afghanistan supporters cheer for Nabi. Afghanistan 130/4 (17)
16:43 PM IST: Zadran falls
Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton is back for his final over. He picks up his second wicket. Najibullah Zadran is hit in front. A huge appeal. The on-field umpire signals out. But Zadran reviews. There is no inside edge. The ball spun in and hit the pad. Zadran has to walk off. Afghanistan 113/4 (15.4)
16:28 PM IST: Trumpelmann strikes!
Ruben Trumpelmann gets rid of Mohammad Shahzad. The Afghan opener gets a top edge and is taken at slip. Jubilation for Namibia. Afghanistan 89/3 (12.4)
16:20 PM IST: Gurbaz falls; guard of honour for Asghar
Leggie Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton in the picture. Just two runs from his first over. Loftie-Eaton returns for his second over. There's a huge appeal for lbw. The on-field umpire gives out. Rahmanullah Gurbaz reviews immediately. The ball is going straight. Gurbaz has to return to the dugout. Namibia on top. Asghar Afghan is in at No.4. Namibia players give him a guard of honour. Afghanistan 77/2 (11)
15:59 PM IST: JJ Smit strikes!
Smit returns for his second over. Breakthrough for Namibia as Hazratullah Zazai holes out to deep square leg. Michael van Lingen is the man with the catch. Afghanistan 53/1 (6.4)
15:54 PM IST: Hazratullah Zazai on fire
Ruben Trumpelmann comes back. This time he ensures good line and length. But Hazratullah Zazai replies with two fours. Jan Frylinck in now. He too is hammered for a boundary followed by a maximum. Zazai is on fire. David Wiese receives the same treatment. Afghanistan is the first in this tournament to not lose any wicket in the powerplay. Afghanistan 50/0 (6)
15:42 PM IST: Third Over
JJ Smit comes in from the other end. Keeps things tight and doesn't let Afghanistan open their arms. Only four runs off Smit. A change for Namibia. Skipper Gerhard Erasmus brings in David Wiese. Four back-to-back dots finish the third over. Afghanistan 17/0 (3)
15:33 PM IST: Brilliant start for Afghanistan
Afghanistan's Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad are in the middle. Ruben Trumpelmann with the new ball for Namibia. Zazai opens the account with a boundary followed by a six. Excellent start for Afghans. Afghanistan 11/0 (1)
15:24 PM IST: Time for national anthems
Players head out for their respective national anthems. Namibia's national anthem to be played first followed by Afghanistan.
15:13 PM IST: Captains speak
Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi says the pitch looks good. They have played well in the last game and are motivated to go against Namibia. He confirms Mujeeb Ur Rahman is unfit so Hamid Hassan replaces Rahman. Talking about Asghar retirement's, Nabi says Afghanistan haven't applied for a replacement player yet. He adds, "I am not sure if we can do so in case of a retirement."
On the other side, Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus says it is a great opportunity for his bowlers to put Afghanistan under pressure. He adds, "It's not easy to set a target with the wind blowing."
15:10 PM IST: Playing XI
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan
Namibia: Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Jan Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), Zane Green (wk), JJ Smit, David Wiese, Jan Frylinck, Pikky Ya France, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz
15:07 PM IST: Team news
Afghanistan's Mujeeb Ur Rahman is unfit. So, Hamid Hassan comes in his place. While Namibia are unchanged.
15:04 PM IST: Toss
Afghanistan have won the toss and opted to bat first against Namibia.
14:50 PM IST: Unbeaten JJ Smit
Johannes Jonathan Smit, or just JJ Smit, has been Namibia's 'star' batsman in this T20 World Cup. The 26-year-old Namibian has remained unbeaten four times in his last five innings! Can he protect that record against Rashid Khan and party?
14:45 PM IST: Last international outing for Ashgar Afghan
In that 2017 match between Afghanistan and Namibia, the Afghans were led by Ashgar Afghan. Batting at No. 3, Ashgar scored 31 runs. He will be retiring after this T20 World Cup 2021. Mohammad Nabi is the current Afghanistan skipper.
14:40 PM IST: Did you know?
The last time Afghanistan and Namibia clashed in a T20 international was in 2017. The match was played in Dubai as part of the Desert T20 Challenge. Afghanistan won by 64 runs after Namibia were all out for 103, chasing 168 for a win. Rashid Khan took three wickets for 4 runs.
14:38 PM IST: Welcome
Hello and welcome to another T20 World Cup 2021 live coverage, this time it is a big match between Afghanistan and Namibia. Yes, it may come as a shock to you but both the teams are apparently sitting above mighty India and New Zealand, who are yet to open their accounts. And if Afghanistan win today, it will add more pressure on India and New Zealand. So stay tuned for this exciting contest between Afghanistan and Namibia.
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad, Hamid Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Usman Ghani
Namibia: Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Zane Green (wk), Gerhard Erasmus (c), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Pikky Ya France, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz, Karl Birkenstock, Ben Shikongo, Michau du Preez, Stephan Baard