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Afghanistan’s historic victory over England in Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan stunned the cricket world on Sunday by defeating England by 69 runs in their ICC Cricket World Cup match in Delhi, India. It was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament and a remarkable achievement for a team that has faced many challenges and hardships.

A dream come true for Afghanistan

Afghanistan, who qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2019, had never beaten England before in any format of the game. They had lost all four of their previous encounters, including a 150-run defeat in the 2019 World Cup. They had also lost their first two matches in the 2023 World Cup, against India and New Zealand, by huge margins.

But on Sunday, they showed their resilience and determination to overcome the odds and pull off a sensational win. They batted first and posted a competitive total of 249 for 8 in 50 overs, thanks to a brilliant century by opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who scored 102 off 120 balls. He was well supported by captain Asghar Afghan, who made 48 off 49 balls.

England, who were the defending champions and one of the favorites to win the tournament, were expected to chase down the target with ease. But they were rattled by Afghanistan’s spirited bowling and fielding performance, which saw them lose wickets at regular intervals. They were eventually bowled out for 180 in 43.4 overs, with only Jonny Bairstow (64) and Ben Stokes (37) offering some resistance.

Afghanistan’s historic victory over England in Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan’s bowlers shared the wickets among themselves, with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq and Mohammad Nabi taking two each. Rashid Khan, who is widely regarded as one of the best spinners in the world, also became the youngest bowler to take 200 wickets in ODIs, at the age of 24 years and 211 days.

A historic moment for cricket

The victory was greeted with jubilation and celebration by Afghanistan’s players, fans and officials, who had witnessed their team’s remarkable journey from playing in refugee camps to competing on the world stage. It was also a moment of pride and joy for millions of Afghans, who have suffered from decades of war and violence.

Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani congratulated the team on Twitter, saying: “Congratulations to our cricket heroes for their historic win against England today. You have made us all proud. Keep up the good work.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also praised Afghanistan’s performance, calling it “a historic day for cricket”. The ICC’s chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Afghanistan and a testament to their hard work and dedication. They have shown that cricket is a truly global game that can unite and inspire people across borders and cultures. We congratulate them on this memorable win and wish them all the best for the rest of the tournament.”

England’s captain Eoin Morgan was gracious in defeat, admitting that his team was outplayed by a better side. He said: “We have to give credit to Afghanistan, they played really well and deserved to win. They put us under pressure from the start and we couldn’t recover. We have to learn from this and bounce back in our next game.”

A boost for Afghanistan’s future

Afghanistan’s win over England has not only boosted their confidence and morale, but also their chances of qualifying for the next round of the World Cup. They are now third in Group A, behind India and New Zealand, with two matches remaining against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. If they win both of them, they will secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

Afghanistan’s coach Lance Klusener said that his team was not satisfied with just one win and wanted to achieve more. He said: “We are very happy with this result, but we are not going to rest on our laurels. We have two more games to go and we want to win them as well. We have a lot of talent and potential in this team and we want to show it to the world.”

Afghanistan’s win over England has also given hope and inspiration to other emerging cricket nations, who aspire to compete at the highest level. It has shown that with passion, perseverance and skill, anything is possible in cricket.

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