Rahmanullah Gurbaz has a point to make and a point boundary to pepper

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2023 World Cup, Game 13, Afghanistan v England

England are still 2-1 up on Afghanistan in 50-over World Cup matches. Expand the head to head to include all one-day internationals and England are… 2-1 up. You wonder what sort of damage Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Mujeeb Ur Rahman would have done if they’d been given a sighter at any point in the last four years.

Or maybe England would have benefited from a bit more exposure. Who knows? One match every four years does feel dangerously frequent given how this one went though.

The first Afghanistan batter to score a hundred on his ODI debut, Gurbaz certainly knows how to make an immediate impact. First ball against England, the opener very smoothly did nothing at all and allowed five wides to happen.


The five wides were somewhat confusingly a lot less wide than much of the bowling he subsequently faced. England eventually worked out that if you bowl outside off stump to Rahmanullah Gurbaz with fewer than seven point fielders, he’ll more than likely scythe the ball to the fence.

Lesson learned, they gave him a good working over with the one he pulls for six instead.

At least now they know he’s most vulnerable to balls faced by the other batter. That can be something to work on ahead of the next game between these two nations in 2027.

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  1. A great moment – if not so much for the England team. Disappointed that the interviewers didn’t ask Hashmatullah about that run out, but I guess they didn’t want to spoil the well-deserved party.

    Meanwhile, is anyone else alarmed at the amount of execution going on in this World Cup? Everyone is trying to execute something (or someone?), even if like England they don’t quite manage to do it how they wanted (head still attached?). How soon before teams adopt GilbertandSullivanball, and open the batting with a Lord High Executioner? Presumably with the Lord High Everything Else taking the all rounder spot.

  2. Is this some kind of turnabout for the rugby team somehow still remaining in their world cup?

    Well done Afghanistan. Nice to see upsets at these things, even if I’d prefer England not to be on the wrong side of them quite so often.

      1. Or, as Daisy just put it, “yes, but don’t South Africa always screw up when it rains on one of their world cup matches?”

        She has a point.

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