England writes off Afghanistan from World T20
Making a stunning start to their title defending campaign, England writes off Afghanistan from ICC World Twenty20 by inflicting a massive 116-run defeat over them in the Group A match at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
Powered by Luke Wright’s swashbuckling 99 off 55 balls, England posted a formidable total of 196-5 and bowled out Afghanistan for 80 in 17.2 overs.
Seam trio Jade Dernbach, skipper Stuart Broad, Samit Patel and off-spinner Graeme Swann all claimed two wickets apiece. Barring Gulbodin Naib (44 off 32), no Afghanistan batsman was able to reach double-digits.
Slumping to 8-26 in 9 overs after a horrible batting collapse, Afghanistan were in tatters of being dismissed for the lowest ever score in the T20 history of 67 – scored by Kenya against Ireland in 2008 – but Naib’s vindicating knock evaded the non-Test from a big humiliation.
It was a stark contrast in the performance of Afghanistan, who fought hard in their opening match against India and lost the game by only 23 runs.
Earlier, sent to bat, England lost opener Craig Kieswetter for duck, bowled out by paceman Shapoor Zadran in the first over before Alex Hales (31 off 27) and Wright steadied the innings with a 69-run second-wicket stand.
Belting five boundaries in his knock, Hales got run out in the 10th over but unstoppable Wright continued to plunder runs in the company of Eoin Morgan (27 off 23).
Morgan and Jos Butler (15) perished to paceman Izatullah Dawlatzai in his successive overs. But the England innings was held firm by the heroics of Wright, who hit six boundaries and two maximums in his whirlwind knock.
Wright smashed three big hits off Dawlatzai to quickly reach from 76 to 94. He was needed three runs off the last ball of innings to reach three-figures but unluckily he could manage to get a double.
Dawlatzai leaked 56 runs in his three overs including 32 in the penultimate over.
England will play their second match against India in Colombo on Sunday. Both India and England have progressed to the Super Eights.