Eng vs Afg: Rashid’s Win Brings Joy to Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan expressed his hope that their remarkable 69-run victory over England in the World Cup would bring joy to his fellow countrymen, who have been dealing with the aftermath of devastating earthquakes. The Afghan team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, stunning the defending champions. “This win is huge for us. It gives us the belief that we can defeat any team on any given day. It will give us the momentum for the rest of the tournament,” Rashid Khan shared in an interview with broadcasters after England were bowled out for 215 in response to Afghanistan’s total of 284. “Cricket has the power to bring happiness to people back home. Winning against England means a lot to us. We recently experienced an earthquake that caused the loss of over 3,000 lives and widespread destruction of homes. This victory will bring a smile to their faces and perhaps help them forget, even if just for a little bit, the difficult days they’ve been through.”

Afghanistan has been severely affected by strong earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and the destruction of numerous villages. To make matters worse, on the same day as their victory, a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who was awarded the Player of the Match for his outstanding all-round performance, also dedicated his accomplishment to his fellow countrymen. He stated, “I want to dedicate this award to the people back home who have been affected by the earthquake. This is something our team can do, and I, as an individual player, can contribute to their happiness.” Mujeeb recorded figures of 3 for 51 with the ball and scored a quickfire 28 runs off just 16 balls.

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“It is a proud moment for me to be here at the World Cup and defeat the champions. It’s a great achievement for the entire team, and this is the kind of opportunity we have worked hard for. Our bowlers and batters delivered exceptional performances,” Mujeeb said. Rashid Khan, who took three wickets for 37 runs, revealed that they had set small goals for themselves and focused on giving their best without worrying about the final outcome. “I made it clear to everyone in the dressing room that no matter what happens in the tournament, we must fight until the end. We set small goals for ourselves and it’s important to be content knowing we gave it our all when we return to the hotel,” Rashid commented.

Rashid also spoke highly of Mujeeb’s contributions to the team, both in bowling and batting. “Mujeeb has consistently been an asset for us. We have been bowling and batting together during practice sessions. We discuss the best bowling strategies for each wicket, and exchanging information helps us perform better. I consider myself fortunate to have him as a teammate. Furthermore, we have Nabi, who brings a wealth of experience. It’s a special occasion for Nabi, as this marks his 150th game, and Rahmat Shah’s 100th game. We have decided to celebrate after our victory. This win will be a cherished memory for Rahmat,” Rashid added.

Reflecting on their previous encounter with England in the 2016 T20 World Cup, which resulted in a loss, Rashid mentioned how they learned from their mistakes. “We had a discussion about that match. We restricted England to 140 runs, but then suffered a collapse. We have taken those lessons to heart and are extremely happy to win tonight,” he explained. In their defense of the total of 284, Mujeeb, partnered with Fazalhaq Farooqi, commenced proceedings with the new ball. “As a spinner, it’s quite challenging to bowl during the powerplay. But I have been working on it in the nets. There is little room for error by bowling wide, so I focused on bowling wicket-to-wicket,” Mujeeb shared. He was prepared for the dew factor and mentally equipped himself accordingly. “Even if there was dew, I made sure not to give much room and bowled in the right areas.”

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As for his own batting performance, Mujeeb expressed gratitude towards the team management for instilling confidence in him. “I want to contribute as a lower-order batsman as well, and those 25-30 runs also benefit the team. I want to continue doing the same,” he stated. England captain Jos Buttler acknowledged that his team would need to put in a significant effort to bounce back from this setback. “We’re disappointed with the result. It will require a lot of resilience from the team to recover from this and make a successful comeback,” Buttler admitted. He also conceded that England made mistakes in their execution of plans. “It all came down to execution. We didn’t perform at the level we aspire to, both with bat and ball. We need to allow these defeats to sting; there’s no point in quickly moving on. We need to reflect on our performance.”

Buttler emphasized the character within the team and their need to display resilience in order to come back stronger. “There’s a lot of strength in this group, and we must demonstrate great resilience in order to bounce back,” he concluded.

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