Afghanistan v England, World T20 2012, Group A, Colombo

Wright's 99 helps England start impressively

The Report by Andrew McGlashan

September 21, 2012

Comments: 144 | Text size: A | A

England 196 for 5 (Wright 99*) beat Afghanistan 80 (Naib 44, Patel 2-6, Broad 2-10) by 116 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Luke Wright plays the ball on the off side, Afghanistan v England, World Twenty20 2012, Group A, Colombo, September 21, 2012
Luke Wright was the second England batsman to score 99 in a Twenty20 international © Getty Images
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The World Twenty20 continued to conform to expectation - disappointingly so, some will say - as England began the defence of their title with a 116-run hammering of Afghanistan. Luke Wright could not quite follow Brendon McCullum's hundred earlier in the day, but produced a blistering 99 off 55 balls after the holders overcame a slightly tricky start in highly convincing fashion.

Wright became the second England batsman to be stranded one short of a Twenty20 hundred following Alex Hales' innings against West Indies earlier this year. Wright only returned to the line-up at the tail-end of the English season and had not really been earmarked for the No. 3 role until Ravi Bopara's rapid loss of form but, having made a brace of useful 30s in the warm-ups, provided further evidence of his development over the last year. He powered past his previous best of 71 against Netherlands, at Lord's, during the 2009 World Twenty20. England, famously, lost that match but there was never a risk of a repeat.

Unsurprisingly, Afghanistan came out swinging with predictable results. Mohammad Shahzad picked out mid-off, Shafiqullah skied to cover and the captain Nawroz Mangal was brilliantly held by Stuart Broad off his own bowling. Much has rightly been written and said about the fairytale of Afghanistan's rise, but this was a harsh of reality check as they slid to 26 for 8. However, they avoided the heaviest defeat in T20 which is Kenya's 172-run defeat against Sri Lanka in 2007 and Gulbodin Naib, with a gutsy display, ensured they passed Kenya's lowest T20 total of 67.

England, though, did exactly what they needed to. Wright was chiefly responsible for some fierce acceleration as they scored 124 off the second 10 overs of their innings after a slow start against some lively new-ball bowling. He started the final over on 95 and needed three off the last ball to make England's first T20 hundred but could only club a brace through midwicket.

He received solid support from Hales and Eoin Morgan while Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow contributed rapid cameos. There were some costly overs during the innings, most notably 32 off the penultimate from Izatullah Dawlatzai which included two no-balls - the same figure that Wayne Parnell went for at Edgbaston earlier in the month putting it joint second in T20 records. It was also another poor fielding display from Afghanistan - Wright was dropped on 75 - as basic skills let them down as they did against India.

Smart stats

  • The 116-run win is the third-highest margin of victory in the Twenty20 internationals and the highest ever for England. The top three victory margins (in terms of runs) have come in World Twenty20 matches.
  • Afghanistan's total of 80 is their joint-lowest in Twenty20 internationals. The previous time they scored 80 was against South Africa in the World Twenty20 2010. It is the also third-lowest total in World Twenty20 matches.
  • England's total of 196 is their third-highest score in Twenty20 internationals and their second-highest total in World Twenty20 games.
  • Luke Wright became the 12th batsman to register a score in the nineties in Twenty20 internationals. He is also the second batsman after Alex Hales to make a score of 99.
  • The number of sixes hit by Wright (6) is the highest by an England batsman in a Twenty20 international. Eoin Morgan is second with five sixes against South Africa in 2009.

It had not been easy start for England as Shapoor Zadran, who troubled India's top order, produced a superb opening over. Craig Kieswetter appeared confused by the two-paced nature of the pitch and played out five dot balls before dragging into his stumps to complete a rare wicket maiden. Hales slashed his first delivery just over slip in a far from assured beginning and after four overs the score was 15 for 1.

Then the game started to change. Having gauged the nature of the pitch, Hales and Wright located the boundary as Shapoor's third over cost 23 although four of those were byes when the wicketkeeper was beaten by the bounce. The final ball of the over was launched into the stands by Wright as England began to take control with the last two overs of the Powerplay bringing 37.

Hales was unfortunate to be dismissed when Wright's straight drive was deflected into the non-striker's stumps by Karim Sadiq. At 84 for 2 after 12 overs the innings hadn't escaped Afghanistan, but Wright dented Samiullah Shenwari's figures with a six over long-on and followed that by fetching another delivery through midwicket.

Mohammad Nabi, the offspinner, bowled his first two overs for 10 but finished with 0 for 46. Morgan flicked him over deep midwicket - his one convincing shot - and Wright went four, six, four off three consecutive deliveries. There was more of that to come with Buttler continuing where he left off against South Africa and Bairstow drilling his first ball into the stands.

Despite having a vast total on the board it was important England did not slack in the field. The quick bowlers made an early impression, zipping the ball through from back of a length with Kieswetter taking a number of deliveries above his head. There was very little for the batsmen to drive although Steven Finn pushed a few deliveries down the leg side.

Broad decided to use his bowlers by the gameplan so Jade Dernbach was given one up front before the captain brought himself on. After a difficult home season of catching and fielding they began well in that department, with Buttler producing a sharp dive and throw from midwicket to run out Sadiq then, next ball, Bairstow held a stunning catch running in from fine leg against a top edged hook from Asghar Stanikzai.

Graeme Swann started with two maidens then was taken for 16 by Naib who often declined singles and showed why by picking off two sweet sixes against Dernbach to mean there would be no record low for Afghanistan and to help himself to the highest score by a No. 8 in T20 internationals. Nobody should read too much into the result, but it was a good statement by the defending champions.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s Powerplay 16-20 overs NB/Wides
England 46 18 8 52/1 87/3 3/3
Afghanistan 74 6 4 22/5 16/2 (17.2 overs) 0/5

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Faixxxxx on (September 23, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

Really good analyz by mr BeReal87. afghanistan need a new coach. with all do respect for the current coach, afghanistan shoud move on. new perspective, a academy and facillities for cricketing and founding is the key. i cant believe they(players) have done so much with so little. most player have to find exra job to support thier familes, what kind of preformance u expect from them in cricket ground when they face big nations???

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (September 22 2012, 08:27 AM GMT) I don't particularly like the format. I wonder why they can't do 4 groups of 4 , have 2 of the major seeded teams in each group and then say a Bangladesh and an Afghanistan. It would be nice to see teams like Afghanistan getting a chance against a Bangladesh or Zimbabwe

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

@veerakannadiga/From-INDIA-with-LOVE - refreshingly honest and pleasant comments there. I still don't think that just because our victory was more emphatic means anything though

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

@Mahila_Jaywardene_ROCKS/recycle-bin-is-empty/CricketingStargazer - Thanks for the heads up guys. Seems a Mickey Mouse way of doing it but there you go

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

The problem is with ICC not Afghan Cricket team, cause in pressure game like this we have seen big teams have been down.Like in one of one day match of India, all out 52.but Afghanitan never let happened like that to himself. Anyway, Afghan has the talent,spirit,and passion for this game, now it is the responsibiliy of ICC to provide them with facilities, more oneday matches, and Inter National Balling and Batting Coaches + money.we as Afghans, everyone back at home is happy from the performance of our team and they R the reall embassadors of peace for our Nation. Guys U R our Champs, does a matter if the World do not understand this. At the end, congrats to English team and thanks from all those fans who supported our team.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 22, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

I have to say that I find it rather odd that the Afghan batsmen have trouble with short-pitched bowling. Maybe the pitches they get to play on don't bounce all that much but you'd think that, with their bowling attack, the batsmen would be able to get some decent practice against short-pitched quick bowling.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Wright is right for England for all the right reasons. So is the case with many of the other young English boys you have been trying out in recent times. Give all of them enough chances. Don't discard them after a few failures. All of them will do well.This supports the view I have been taking for a very long time: Support your own talented young ones, instead of leaning on the imports. The imports may just walk away leaving your team tumble down like a house of cards.This is the right trend. Soon I will be able to see Wally Hammonds, Len Huttons, Colin Cowdreys, Fred Trumans, Ken Barringtons and so on... at least a bunch of deserving inheritors.

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 22, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

i think Afghanistan have a real future if they are supported.maybe they should tour the Uk to get some experience in foreign conditions. Be interesting to see what the match vs India will bring.As for some of the Aus fans comments it is always good to have your feedback.You were all so strangely quiet during the ODi series.

Posted by BeReal87 on (September 22, 2012, 11:46 GMT)


Thanks for your support for the Afghan team. Currently Afghanistan being an associate member of the ICC they only get something like half a million dollars every year and a little support from the afghan government.

Most of the international players like Dhoni and Gayle would make more than a million dollars playing in IPL for a few weeks.

So if there are no funds you can not have any facilities that's why Afghan players travel to Sharjah or Pakistan to get most of their training. I think the ICC and international community should give more funds to Afghan cricket board and that would really help a lot to improve facilities.

And the second most important thing is having a good coach. Afghanistan can not afford coach from Australia or South Africa and even if they do they would not go to Afghanistan. So i think that issue needs to be resolved as well other than that these cricketers are really hard working and their spirit and enthusiasm can not be matched by anyone.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

india will beat england by 8 wickets tomorrow

Posted by Stark62 on (September 22, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

If pitches keep playing like this, then SA and Eng are huge favourites to lift the cup, followed by Aus.

What were the SL curators thinking?!?! Did they think, SL have "quality" fast bowlers?

Posted by Long-Leg on (September 22, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

As an England follower and cricket fan I am delighted to see Afghanistan rise as a cricketing nation. They have a young side with plenty of talent and enthusiasm and it is great to see them at this tournament. However, I would like to ask how the ICC and the richer more established cricketing countries can better support Afghanistan Cricket? There is a gulf in the level of support and funding between Afghanistan and teams like India and England. I would like to ask Afghan fans, what do you need? Money, more tournaments, facilities, coaching?

Posted by rohanblue on (September 22, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

england's t20 team is very vry good, players like luke wright , samit patel are advantage for england, who can both bowl medium pace and spin and more than handy in batting, if not indi i want england to win the cup, go england u rock........

Posted by The_Ashes on (September 22, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

This tournament has not liven up at all I mean too many one sided matches and except for Sri Lanka games, lack of crowd.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

Player current form England both men's team and women's win this T20 world Cup.

Posted by reality_check27 on (September 22, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

impressed with afghans they should get more regular odi matches with major teams and i can tell u they can become a very good side icc is doing nothing to take the next step and welcome talented teams like ireland and afghans they just need to play some more matches with the major teams and they will be ready for next level and i think they should grant ireland te test status by now please icc before they give up waiting for it some years ago kenya had become a good team in 2003 dont want to lose ireland or afghans now

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 22, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@JG, it's the way the tournament format works. The group winners go into one super eight group, the runners up into the other. If the seedings work out, which they have so far, England's super eight group would be by far the weaker. That's the incentive to beat India.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 22, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

@Reality_check This is the same reasoning that said with some confidence that England shouldn't bother to turn up for this tournament because they would lose both matches? In a spin duel England will more than hold their own but, I accept, that as India's pace options are so weak the only choice to to prepare pitches to suit the home side and hope for the best! The last three series in India have been very close with England fielding much weaker sides than the current one. It will be a good test of Alistair Cook's cricketing education. You need to have some respect for your opponents: overconfidence loses many matches and many series.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 22, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

@JG, poor crowds, meaningless matches, poor format. Are the ICC trying to kill this as a tournament? There is no point in bringing a side like Afghanistan, who hardly get any chances to play major sides, for just two games. They should be guaranteed a minimum of three and, as they showed against India, with just a little more experience to cut out the mistakes they would be winning these tight matches. It also makes no sense to say that these sides don't deserve to be here. The qualifying was brutal: 2 teams qualified from a 16-team tournament; if those two aren't up to scratch it is because the big nations refuse to play them, largely for selfish reasons, meaning that they never get to learn. SL, Pak & Eng have shown what can be done organising one-offs and tri-series, but it is still not enough.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (September 22, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

@JG2704 "Ian Ward said that Eng are now in 1 group for the super 8s and India another. With India and Eng having not played each other yet surely he has this wrong because which group each team play in depends on where they finish which in turn depends on the Eng/India results." Unfortunately thats not the case, which team will belong to which group will be determined based on their T-20 ranking, not their ranks on the group stage. So placements of India and England for their next group and also of SL and SA are already fixed. Which will make their next games against each other more pointless.

Posted by Sallu_bhai on (September 22, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

India is far ahead of England.Tomorrows match will show us the same.

Posted by KunzMan on (September 22, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

@JG2704: No mate. Its set. Super Eights are pre-decided so to say. England, Srilanka, New Zealand and West Indies in one group and India, SA, Aus and Pakistan in another. You can see "Groups" in ICCWT20. So basically all these other "marquee" clashes between main teams are dead rubber / warm up matches only. Only Aus and WI will have a lot at stake since should WI lose it then they will have to beat Ireland. Same goes with Pak vs NZL match.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

@rahulcricket007 on (September 22 2012, 06:14 AM GMT) Notice there was no credit for Wright's innings or any of our bowlers. Probably not enough to pick fault with playing wise that you pick up on a bit of commentary. By the way , what exactly was untrue about what Nas said ? He didn't say it in a derogatory manner - just a matter of fact. Afghan fans themselves will admit that they need to play short balls better and certainly need to improve on fielding. Our commentators/pundits have said that Eng won't win series in SC if our batsmen don't learn to play spin better which is the same thing.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (September 22, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

CRICKET IS A VERY TOUGH SPORT TO PLAY.FANS DONT UNDERSTAND THE PAIN & THE STRESS, that PLAYERS GO THROUGH WHEN REPRESENTING COUNTRIES.Fully support team India in these bad days.They have done so much for the country and yet FANS arent satisfied a single part.SIDES cans be in their best form forever.FANS should support them when needed.Lets just hope India does good and makes country proud.What ever happens Indians are with them:-) God bless.Very happy for Yuvi.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

@MrRascaL on (September 21 2012, 20:07 PM GMT) - Why get all het up? My point - which was a small one - was that I found it odd that the player did not need to translator to translate what Nas said to him but needed the translator to translate his answers back. I just thought he'd either not be able to understand the English language at all or if he could understand it he'd be able to speak it. It's not a criticism at all and I'm sorry if it came across that way

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

@yorkshirematt on (September 21 2012, 20:03 PM GMT) Fair enough. I suppose you can kind of guess what is being said and if he guesses wrong I suppose the translator can rectify things

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Re the quality of the minnows in this years tournament. Well so far it has been disappointing. However Afghanistan can hold their heads up high. They had good moments but naivety/inexperience and particularly poor fielding - also with some clean hitting by our guys - meant that Eng posted 50 higher than expected at the half way mark and possibly 70 higher than after the 1st few overs and with such little experience they were never likely to get near that total. I'd still like to see more minnows at these tournaments but just have group stages , then quarter finals because how are teams like Afghan going to get experience if they don't play more cricket? If not , I'd like to see Zimbabwe and Bangladesh join them in qualifying for 4 places. If these 2 sides are better they'll qualify anyway but it would be nice for these teams to play against teams like Z and B where they have a more realistic chance of getting confidence boosting/learning wins

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

@SnowSnake on (September 21 2012, 22:41 PM GMT) Have to agree with you there. It's who plays the best on the day when any of the top 8 play each other in this format. India have experience of chasing big totals down and would not be phased. If we posted 190 vs India I would though be very surprised if India chased it down as I feel we are generally more likely to win matches by reducing sides to chaseable totals than by scoring big ourselves. However I don't think we'd post 190 vs India. I'd say on a similar wicket 145-155 would be a par score for either side.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (September 21 2012, 22:53 PM GMT) I did say that the selections in IPL were at times questionable and have always said that I think an IPL side would rather pick a marquee name than a form player. This is not just from an English perspective either. Van Der Merwe played one game in the last IPL and did well and never got another game. Alf Thomas only played a few games and then you get M Clarke who is not too special in T20s , who is shoed in straight away. Also I'd say an off form big hitting batsman would get a game over a consistent tight/economical bowler.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 22, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Two other things I noticed. 1 was that Ian Ward said that Eng are now in 1 group for the super 8s and India another. With India and Eng having not played each other yet surely he has this wrong because which group each team play in depends on where they finish which in turn depends on the Eng/India results. 2 - re Finn's hitting the wicket - It is part of his game which has somehow crept in and I'm not sure how. Personally I would not be against the rule being changed to call it a no ball. But being that's unlikely , how about the umpires consult the batsman after each delivery where this happens as to whether he wants it called a dead ball or not? Surely if the batsman were to hit a 4 or 6 off a dead ball he'd want it to stand. PS was disappointed with such a small crowd

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 22, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

Guys, let's talk only on this tournament. We will have enough time to talk and comment on Eng-Ind series that is months away. And no bashing comments please. Thank you.

Posted by GRVJPR on (September 22, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

Fitness is the main problem for Inidia. Nobody runs slower than Zaheer and Balaji. If out of 120 balls18 of them goes to these two there would be 18 extra runs to england. So if england would have needed 24 in last over, they will need only 6.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (September 22, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

except morgan..none of this england player can handle ajmal, narine,ashvin ,mendis ..even botha...if any one these bowlers in afgan squald..england have not scored 150...

Posted by reality_check27 on (September 22, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

atleast india has never lost to minnows like netherlands and ireland unlike england has and its only a matter of time when england come to india and when they play spin its going to be like we are watching a comedy show rather then a test match

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (September 22, 2012, 6:14 GMT)


Posted by rahulcricket007 on (September 22, 2012, 6:08 GMT)


Posted by Bogelking on (September 22, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Before the tournament reaches halfway, it is quite expected that the top ranking teams will undoubtedly feature in the super eights. From group A and C, it has already been secured for the top teams, making their respective clashes into a dead rubber. Any wonder we have to see is on the rest of the groups featuring Ireland and Bangladesh. True, they lost to Australia and New zealand respectively. But that does not mean that the teams have lost their plots. One more game against West Indies and Pakistan, for both Ireland and Bangladesh will be an opportunity to once again live to their tag of "Giant-Killers". But I know that it is easy said than done. But what i am trying to say here is that, there is enough scope for the spectators all over the world, lured in to this swashbuckling extravaganza to expect some electrifying finish before the commencement of the Super Eight. Let us even hope that the dead rubber between the top teams, would not be reduced to something less interesting.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (September 22, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

@Mohammad khan Avik,bd z about 1000 miles behind pak,LOLZ.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (September 22, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

We huffed & puffed to beat AFG. England just showed us how to do it. If our performance against AFG is a yardstick to measure performance, then, I do not see much hope for our team.As I have been saying for sometime now,If India can't win the WC, let WI win. After this encounter (ENG vs AFG),my opinion is SA,SL,ENG are the teams to beat. NZ did well against BD but will be tested. Aus looked very convincing against Ireland, but PAK & SL will make them sweat. WI are yet to play. Best Wishes to all the teams. God Bless Us All. AMEN.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (September 22, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

Very good demonstration by England on how to deal with a minnow team.Its a bitter fact but of all the major nations India have the weakest bowling attack-its really mediocre. I would be really pleasantly surprised if we managed to reach the semis even,considering the fact that the present pitches in SL seem to have some pace and bounce in them unlike in the old days.

Posted by Smack-DAT on (September 22, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

well played ENG..AFGANS showed some spark but fielding let them down..they need to learn the art of controlling aggressiveness..they should play more often with top teams..

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 22, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

oh and also hats off to luke wright he has become the only decent batsman in englands team well done, should drop the bowling altogether though. his time with the stars has obviously done wonders learing from the like of hussey, white, faulkner and bailey

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 22, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

also hilarious to see that the worst bowler in international cricket, dernbach, gets smashed around even by the afghans. as does the next worst bowler in international cricket, broad. oh and hats off to naib, that was a brilliant innings.

Posted by lion69sl on (September 22, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

AFGvsENG n AFGvsIND matches shows us the difference between a minnow vs top class cricket team match and minnow vs minnow match.

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 22, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

if i didnt think there was anyway england could win the tournament before then they certainly have no chance now. embarrassing for england fans you would have to say, luck for them and biabolical play from afghanistan made them only have to be present to win. feel for the afghan supporters because they really played very very poorly which is dissappointing but with high level coaching they can fix all that. england should get whalloped by india and who ever plays them in the super 8s because they will be easily the weakest team to go through

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

As an Afghan I would like to congratulate England and India for the success!!they are the great cricket teams!!! As it was said our time is one of the younges teams in T20 and still their performance is very acceptable for Afghans. we can't expect more than this at this stage, they did very welll, played with fulll hope and wholeheartedly- congratulations for all the players, but we do strongly believe that Afghan cricket team have a very bright future. I would like to add (not as an excuse) that cricket is a match of psychology as well and opefully we have a peaceful country with no rockets, bombs, explosions and suicide one day!!! best of luck for all cricket fans :)

Posted by Sallu_bhai on (September 22, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

Good Display by ENglish.Hope India study from this and show the same performance in the rest of tournament starting with tomorrows England match.India can do it as talent wise as well as strength wise Current Indian team is far ahead of other teams.Exceptions-->Unpredictable Pakistanis and Evergreen South africans.

Posted by landl47 on (September 22, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

As an England fan I'm not getting too excited about this. All credit to Afghanistan for putting up a good performance against India, but it's hard for the smaller cricketing nations to play well consistently. Still, the Afghans are the youngest side in the tournament and look to have some good talent for the future. The England v. India game now doesn't mean much, but maybe England could think about giving the gloves to Bairstow or Buttler and giving Lumb a game; Kieswetter looks in no kind of form at the moment. All the bowlers did well and it was nice to see a pitch that gave everyone some help. Now it's on to the Super-8s.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

England have a well balanced side with all bases covered and with sufficient bench strength. England are one of my favorites to go all the way (along with Pakistan and South Africa). Up to date England have shown that they are the team to beat. They were professional with Afghanistan. I do think Afghanistan should get more games with good sides, but progressively. First with those who are just above them and then climbing higher depending on how they perform. The Afghans seriously need catching practice.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 22, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

I think that a lot of people are a bit too keen to read too much into Afghanistan's two games with respect to what they mean for England and India. It's not valid to say that England beat Afghanistan by more than India did so therefore England are better than India. T20 is simply far too volatile to base such judgements on a couple of games. That said, England have done relatively well against India in T20, although the sample size is again quite small, and the Columbo pitch will favour pace more than India would like, I'm sure. India certainly have the more proven batting lineup while England have the edge in the bowling department. I'm hoping that both teams play what is basically a dead rubber at full intensity and we get an exciting game.

Posted by subbass on (September 22, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

Randy check the rankings mate. Oz are way down the list, still I suppose you moved above the mighty Irish. Good knock from Wright he does not try and hit the ball too hard now, just times it his spells round the world leagues has clearly been a big help. I like the pitches so far also, gives us a chance if they stay like this with the bit of pace and carry they have.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 22, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

@SamuelH on (September 21 2012, 22:37 PM GMT), I saw a number of comments questioning Wright's selection but I guess I don't know that they were all English. He's obviously shown by his domestic performance that he has improved and hence his selection. Those who would question his place presumably aren't aware of that domestic form.

Posted by Rukky on (September 22, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

India is the only team, who never lost to any country more than the margin of 50 runs, and neither won by margin of more than 50 runs against Any Country. It Reflects the Batting Power and Bowling weakness of Indian Team.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

England: 'The team without power hitters' is starting to look like the team with the most (with possible exception of W.I-at least on paper). What's more, they seem as a batting unit to be in good form, and the pitches suit their bowling. If they are not peaking too quickly, then a bet on Eng at the start of the tournament could have been a VERY shrewd move. More evidence of this can be found in the way India, relatively speaking,toiled to beat this opposition. Such a shame that the forthcoming Eng v Ind game is a COMPLETELY dead rubber; just like other groups they are not even playing for an improved draw in the super 8's! Who on earth thought this competition format up??!! PATHETIC!

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 22, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

Bit of a struggle for England in the end, but mind you this is the same team that can't beat Ireland or the Netherlands.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (September 22, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

Congratulations England!! That was a really good all round performance. Now coming to few comparisons being made between India's 159 and England 196 trying to show Indian batsman are over hyped. Well, the same over Indian "over hyped" Batsman won WC 2011 for us whoever the Indian pundit or noon-Indian pundit is pointing finger on us. Let's see if England can win over India on 23rd. I bet on India to win that game.

Posted by Shaikat_the_great on (September 22, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

BeReal87- AFG is a better team than Ban, how? They lost all the matches against .BD comfortably. In 1998 BD qualified for world cup through winning ICC and before that they used to play ACC. This team did beat the mighty PAK in WC99. Ind,Pak have been playing cricket for more than 50 years, did they become worse than BD when they got beaten by them? As a matter of fact, you are just very jealous of the recent success of BD cricket team in last few years. In last 3-4 years BD whitewashed NZ, IRE (in their soil), WI, beaten Ind , Sri, Eng in several vital matches, beaten full strength WI team several times, once bowled them out for only 61, beaten Eng in their home soil in 1day match that Ind couldn't even do (got whitewashed)..all I want to say that BD didn't compete only, at times they humiliated some big opponents, so, at present AFG, IRE are not as good as BD. Having said that, I appreciate AFG team for playing the game with a big heart and hope, oneday they will become big deal.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 1:06 GMT)

No sense in saying that "Don't read too much into this format." THIS tournament IS in this format and at least in this, you just can't wish it away. Wishful thinking, and excuses have no meaning. PERFORM.

Posted by   on (September 22, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

This game shows India's plight in contrast. How many runs Afghan scored against England, and against India. Shows the caliber of Zaheer & company. Only the two all rounders Yuvi & Ashwin bowled well. "Regular" bowlers are toothless. How many runs England scored, and India scored aginst the same opposition. Shows the ridiculous form / attitude / luck of the two supposed to be 'vaunted India openers Viru & Gouti. High time to bench these two openers. At least one of them; the other can open with Virat. And, Tiwari may be tried in the middle. In bowling, even Harbhajan will be better than Zak. Sack Zak, if he doesn't retire -- cant bowl, cant bat, cant field, cant run, cant chase the ball. Despite all the greatness of the past, a big liability now.

Posted by Marcio on (September 22, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

Too bad all the minnows are getting thrashed. It isn't good for the game, and makes for a dull beginning to the tournament. The way the tournament is set up these initial games have no bearing an anything unless you lose to a minnow. It doesn't matter one bit who wins out of Eng and Ind in the next game. Bragging rights mean nothing, as in T20 even a quickfire 30 compiled from edges and slogs from a fast bowler can take the game away from the opposition. Many games are won by the barest of margins, and a couple of wins by a dozen runs or so can quickly turn to a run of losses by a similar margin.

Posted by Vikum72 on (September 22, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

Hmm... India beat Afghanistan laboriously. England beat Afghanistan out of sight. So does this mean India & Afghanistan are evenly matched???

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 22, 2012, 0:20 GMT)

@Najib Nasik: Yes, Afghanistan were a delight to watch. I wish them with my whole heart for a successful future. I want the ICC to provide more opportunities to Afghanistan and Ireland. They will only get better. Regarding Bangladesh, I agree with you again. They have been the LEAST improved team ever since they received test status. No notable performances other than a few isolated wins against top teams in world cup events. They are very poor and look worse than the minnows. I don't mean to sound insulting but a true Bangladeshi fan will understand my point. BD have to improve by winning consistently against top quality opposition. Today, their bowling was average against NZ. I am sure if Afghanistan played BD, Afghanistan could win. I feel sorry for BD.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 22, 2012, 0:15 GMT)

I still feel India should have played a lot better against Afghanistan. Afghanistan ONLY managed to score that many runs against India because of the poor Indian bowling. It's a CURSE of India's that throughout history, it's been their bowling that's let them down. India's batting is obviously their strength. From 1 to 7, CHAMPIONS, ALL of them !! Arguably the BEST batting line up in this world T20. BUT, that's not good enough IMO. Their bowling is rock bottom and Zaheer Khan, their best bowler looks feeble. If India are to enter the semis, they will have to play out of their skins. Against England on Sunday, India will have to bowl exceedingly well. Otherwise, Luke Wright might just bring up that elusive T20 century at last.

Posted by Idrees102 on (September 21, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

Luke Wright is extremely lucky and Mohammed Nabi is extremely unlucky...

Posted by Charos on (September 21, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

Even though I did not agree, I would like if Sakthivel can do the same analysis for these three team in the group, as you did for SL a, Afg, Ind, and SL. Anyway, this result does not mean Eng has a big edge over Ind. India's problem imo is overly depending upon batting, so that they struggle if batters go low. Good luck both Ind and Eng. And also best wishes to Afgis for future.

Posted by anti-conspiracy on (September 21, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

ohhh England played good all round cricket today. anyway Afg was not difficult to beat but i like steven Finn's bowling. the beauty of this guy is that he gets beaten up very easily. He enjoyed some big hits on his bowling lol. he is usually like that!!!

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 23:15 GMT)

I appreciat the way ppl from around the world supported the Afghan cricketers, as an afghan i would like to say that its always nice to be a part of an international tournament, but i think its time for afghan cricketers specially the batsmen to get a professional approach and stop playing street cricket, there should be a couple of batsmen whom put thier head down and paly ( long and technical innings) not to forget the horrible fielding mistakes which should be delt with. to a couple of bangladeshi fans that critisized afghan team i would like to say that the way BD lost to NZ today was also not much diffrent from the Afghan match and i would like to guarantee that if BD plays Afghanistan there is a great chance BD will lose the match as the stats show Afghans can beat Ireland and Ireland have beaten BD more than once so plz stop talking rubbish.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 23:03 GMT)

thanks form all and respect to all ideas.. it is a fact that The AFG team does not have any mean or facility in their despoil so what they did was well,, but they did some mistake in the match .. there are some useless players however AFG has good player who in his squad that they were not here ,, anyway they need help of full members .. ..

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 21, 2012, 22:53 GMT)

SUPERB game by England. Commiserations to Afghanistan. Luke Wright, you BEAUTY ! Can't believe this guy was benched most of the time for Pune Warriors in the IPL. England looking very good here. In T20, England are one of the BEST simply because of their bowling. With pitches that assist the fast bowlers, England are definitely now one of the favs. India need to play very well to beat them. In spite of being an Indian fan, I think England will JUST manage to edge India in that dead rubber on Sunday. Anyway... this makes up for a mouth watering Super 8s stage.

Posted by SnowSnake on (September 21, 2012, 22:41 GMT)

I think people are jumping to conclusions. If Afg comes close to India then people say Afg. is great and if England beats Afg. then people say England is great. The fact is this. England's 192 would not be safe against India's batting. Also, England's 192 were mainly due to last two overs. That stuff ain't happening against India. England and India could go either way. India's fast bowling may not be at par, but India's spin bowling will test England's batting. England's spin bowling will be expensive against India. Any team using Afganistan as a benchmark can do so at their own peril. Is England's fast bowling really that great? I doubt it.

Posted by allblue on (September 21, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

I don't think we can read too much into this result because in this format things can change very quickly. Still, a potential banana skin out of the way, and three wins from three since arrival in SL is as much as England could have hoped for. One very encouraging aspect from an English perspective is how young the side is. Today's XI are 24, 23, 27, 26, 22, 22, 27, 26, 33, 23, and 26. Young pups most of them.

Posted by SDHM on (September 21, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

@JMC - I'm fairly certain most people were positive re: Wright; I think anyone who's seen him on TV over the past season can see what an improved player he is. Today's innings shows it perfectly; came in in a potentially sticky situation but played sensibly, backing his ability to smack it around later, supported well by Hales. Agree about Kieswetter though; as a Somerset fan I'd love to see him replicate what he does so often down at Taunton, but he seems confused about his role at the moment. The thing is Lumb has exactly the same problem - he faced a lot of dot balls in the last WT20, so it wouldn't be a great swap. Maybe the first sign that Prior really should have been in the squad, but I hope Craig finds form. If I was Flower I'd tell him to go out and spank it from the off against India to try and free him up.

Posted by whatawicket on (September 21, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

it seem just when the early games are starting to get interesting tables 1 and 2 seem to be decided. i would have thought that if you win the group it would get you into an easier run of games. not sure how it could have been done. just a thought

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 21, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

@Meety "Bragging rights" seem to be quite a big thing on here. Especially between english and indians.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 21:39 GMT)

I hate to sound a sour note amid all the England celebrations, but the time has now come to replace Kieswetter at the top of the order. Apart from the fact that he seems totally unable to rotate the strike or push for singles or twos, his overall T20 strike rate - 110 - is ludicrously low for this form of the game. His scores so far in Sri Lanka have been 8 off 15 balls, 10 off 17 & now 0 off 6: a grand total of 18 in three innings off 38 balls. The problem seems to be that he regards himself as a bona fide Anchor batsman rather than a pinch-hitter, with the result that he appears to think it's OK to eat up numerous deliveries at the start of each innings, Bopara-style, while remaining virtually scoreless & piling pressure on the batsmen around him to score twice as quickly as he does. Either he needs to be told that his role is simply to throw caution totally to the winds or he needs to be dropped, with Wright or Lumb being promoted to open & Bairstow being handed the gloves.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (September 21, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

MY RESPECT & THOUGHTS WITH AFGHANS.They played like tigers , despite their country being in Turmoil,the passion that they have for this game will surely win then accolades in the sooner days to come, for that they already have captured many hearts with that fearless match against IND..Imagine what would have happened if this country would have had same resources like Ind/Eng/BD,,they would surely been better than they posed in the tournament.I hope IND as a leader of subcontinent gives a helping hand to these players and the Afghan board,by inviting them or touring Afghanistan.I just hope that the players DON'T LOOSE HOPE after this WC exit and come again strong as professionals.The ZADRANS were amazing to watch.GL Afghans.God bless your team&country.

Posted by Meety on (September 21, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Good result for England. I am dissappointed for Afghanistan that they didn't make more of a match. Dunno how much context can be made out of England's match v India's. This now means that India v England in a meaningless match other than for bragging rights, (an aspect of this W/Cup that is a bit dissappointing).

Posted by Munkeymomo on (September 21, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@Jawid1716: You are absolutely right, and Afghanistan and their supporters can hold their heads high. Not only did they qualify (only two spots available) but they performed with spirit and passion. Lets not forget the huge differences in funding and training between these teams. The Afghanis should be respected for some disciplined (and rapid) bowling. If their fielding could be improved they would be a very competant side. I wish them all the best in the future.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

I know it is hard to play short balls but to be honest Afghanistan should have learned from last T20 against SA they lost early wicket because they could not handle short balls it is so clear England knew the afghan side weakness and they have done well done. But again England vs Afghanistan, it is not a fair much. anyhow it is very special and exciting to see Afghanistan playing.

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (September 21, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

@Nampally (September 21 2012, 18:08 PM GMT) I must say of all Indian poster you are by far the most realistic and reasonable. I applaud your decent nature and accurate perception. When India hit Afghanistan for 159 and England hit them for 196 - it is obvious which is better batting side between India and England. Also, when Afghanistan hit India for 136 and England for 80 it is obvious to whole world which is better bowling side. Evidently England is better than India in batting and bowling department. Also in fielding I think. India look very cumbersome in the field. I hear is that India are favourite for the tournament what is your opinion on this @nampally? I like your post and do not disrespect you. I look forward very much to another England V India game on Sunday, but surely England must be favourite here? What say you.

Posted by BeReal87 on (September 21, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

To All the Bangladesh Fans.

The difference between BD side and Afghan side is that BD played its first ODI against Pakistan in 1986 and Afghanistan played their first ODI against a full member in 2012.

So BD after 26 years of playing cricket and Afghanistan after few months of playing its first ODI against a full member, i think they did a far better job than you guys can dream of. The amount of resources available to BD, Ireland and other minnows is not comparable to Afghanistan as their is not even a single stadium in the country.

So proud of the Afghan side and they are a way better team than BD as they give India a hard time and played much better against Australia recently.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

what disappointed me today was afghanistan?? where was that team that put up such a fantastic fight against india?

Posted by maddy20 on (September 21, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Consistency is the key for Afghans. They have the talent, and with experience I think they will be more likely to perform well consistently. One could sense the occassion over whelming them. It is evident from the innumerable catches and a bit of sloppy fielding. They did well though even in patches. Now all that ICC needs to do for them to prosper is more limited overs cricket against the full members. Their performance in the sole ODI against Aus where they scored 200+ and even gave them a scare.

Posted by Faixxxxx on (September 21, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

I think afghan team with four players can do it better than the rest, very untalented batting through the years. just bowling been impressive. guess thats going to be not change for long time. afghan team need a couch from oversea that can teach some decipline and with new ideas for future. the current couch is locked up in his old recepi. and he seems to be powerless with players selection and bringing in new talent into this side. where was hamid hassan? one unfit Hamid is much better than most of the bowlers in this squad.

Posted by saj_92 on (September 21, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

we will see how luke plays steyn, ajmal , morkel, gul, narine n co haha good luck

Posted by anton111 on (September 21, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

The minnows are not helping the cause for their inclusion in future tounmanents . Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not proving that they deserve full member status. Time for a first and second division in world cricket. First division teams should be those teams ranked 1 through 8. Second division teams should include Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan, Namibia, Kenya, Scotland, Netherlands and Canada and should be allowed to play WI and NZ occasionally to improve their standard. Let these teams have their own world cup tournaments among themselves.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 21, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

i feel sorry for afghan team Pak have 1 afridi but afghan have 11 afridi so how can they when win.....those should think there don,t need just six from each player ,,,teams always need to planing like for win like ,,ENg,,,,AUST,,,sout africa...Afghan need to learn more

Posted by MrRascaL on (September 21, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

@ JG2704-- no need to criticize the inability to speak good English its not their mother language. And besides who cares, what everyone here cares is how they play cricket and overall they have done well.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

goes to show how bad indias bowling really is.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 21, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

@JG2704 Yes maybe it was a bit strange. I do know what it's like though. I do know a bit of french, spanish and italian, and when i go to those countries i can understand vaguely what they're saying, but as for replying myself not a chance!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 21, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

I really do wonder why there is no Plate Tournament. Zim and Afghanistn have played two games in the first few days and are off home. Surely they would get more out of the tournament if the four eliminated sides were to play off with semi-finals and a final and a modest trophy (plus some self-respect) for the winner who could measure themselves against some more beatable opposition. It's not like Ireland and Afghanistan get many opportunities to play international opposition: why cut them shorter still like this?

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 20:01 GMT)

gr8 performance by england... it shows tht indian bowling is really a problem...waiting for eng vs india........well played luke wright... defenatly u ll get more ipl matches next time......

Posted by SnowSnake on (September 21, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

I would not read too much into this game. Afgan did what they should given they were chasing 192. T20 cricket has random outcomes more often than not, so a great win by England does not mean anything to me. It fact, the randomness factor makes the entire T20 tournament uninteresting. Any one team can win this T20 world cup.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 21, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Well, having been told before the game that having pushed India so close, Afghanistan would win today, I can only say that it didn't look that close to me! England were just too good in all departments and with a huge score to chase, the Afghan batsmen were between a rock and a hard place, particularly after a very slow start. The biggest difference between the Indian performance and this one was that the England had bowlers fast enough and accurate enough to keep the pressure on and not let the batsmen go for their favourite big shots. 3rd biggest T20 win in history. Job done. Now to beat India and go through as a seeded team.

Posted by freddieraghu on (September 21, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

@Milhouse79 Australia a MINNOW... LOL... Funniest comment I've read of late...

Posted by JG2704 on (September 21, 2012, 19:28 GMT)

Nice to get over this potential bananaskin. After the 1st over where Craig played out 5 dots before getting out it was nice to see Cool Hand and Hales putting on a partnership. Luke played superbly and a shame he didn't get a ton and Hales was getting to grips before his misfortune. Morgan looked scratchy and the 2 JBs did exactly what was required. Afghan's biggest faults were inexperience/naivety and their fielding was absolutely woeful. I think due to this fielding some of their bowlers came away with worse figures than should have been the case. Great little cameo from Naib and a shame he did not make his 50. His SR was incredible esp considering he was harbouring the strike. The shorter bowling worked today but I hope they don't become too short pitch happy. PS anyone think the post match interview with the Afghan captain was a bit strange? He obviously understood English perfectly but could not speak it properly. Still he - and Afghan fans on this thread - have spoken very well

Posted by Shaikat_the_great on (September 21, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

Lol, where are my comments? Btw, Eng played really well and AFG need to learn the batting techniques, they have the physical abilities though.

Posted by AJ_KHAN on (September 21, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

its ok india is gona take revenge for us, good luck india

Posted by Jawid1716 on (September 21, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

As an Afghan i really have nothing to say for the respect, love and warm support of world to team afghanistan, but i know there are ups and downs circles all the time, they must learn from there mistakes and plan for there succession, very undisiplined game by the afghan side. THE REAL LOSE IS WHEN YOU LOSE HOPE TO FIGHT NOT WHEN YOU KNOCK OUT BY YOUR OPPONENT.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

Thank you to all the indian fans for the concern that they had prior to this match given the good game that Afg gave them. no need to have worried!!

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 21, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

Quite a ruthless display from England but did we learn much from it? I guess we should summise that India are not that good as they struggled a little against the Afgans? But this is T20 and another day can see a completely different display from the same team. It's a pity that the Afgans didn't field better in either game and had they done so against India it could have been a different result. We'd then have the fascinating prospect of India having to beat England to stay in the competition...... Not to be though. Sunday's game should be a cracker though and we'll see just how poor India are and just how strong England are? Good luck to the Afghanistan team who were a credit to the spirit of cricket. COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by Shaikat_the_great on (September 21, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

What we want is respect and nothing else. I respect all the teams and want the same for my team. When Ban first came into cricket, they have been supported by the neighbors. Indians started generating hatred when they crushed out from WC 07 losing against Ban which magnified when they crushed out from Asia cup 12, again losing against Ban. Listen Indian friends, this is just a game, I appreciate when your team play well and expect the same. On the other hand, Ban has always got good support from Pak cricket supporters, even after that near loss to Asia cup to Ban, my Pak friends appreciated Ban cricket as graceful winner. Now, I don't know from where the hatred is coming from them. It's true that we don't get to play t20 cricket that much but I assure you, we will improve a lot even in t20 just the same way did in onedayers. Finally, please refrain from comparing Ban with IRE or AFG as they are neither a match for us anymore nor have achieved what we have achieved in Cricket. Thanks.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

this is terrible for the game, these associate teams should not be in this tournament

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

people who rush writing off zimbabwe or bangladesh, and deem to think that Afghanistan will do better than the lower tier test teams, this game was a cruel reminder. though Zim or BD is the worst of the test lot, they still are members of the test class. The story of the Afghans are heartening, and we are all romantics wanting to see the little guys doing well, but do not get carried off. Moments like this match reminds you, even us (Bangladesh fans) underestimating big opponents, & overestimating our own team can lead to embarrassing moments.

if Afghanistan and BD (or Zim) had a series right now, be it T20 or ODI (Afghans will have a far better chance in T20), Afghans will be lucky if they can win a match or two (if very lucky) on a series of 5. They definitely are closer to BD than BD is to South Africa, but its like BD is 10 miles away from South Africa, and Afghanistan is 2-3 miles away from BD.

Afghanistan should play more and more with the associates before jumping too much.

Posted by mark2011 on (September 21, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

its unfortunate Afgan team couldnt deliver much today.but certainly they are improved side and need intl exposure, so other teams shud help them givig some matches otherwise how these guys nurture their talent.. surely they have good takent and fighting spirit, if criket to be spread around the world, we should help them, insulting minnows does not gonna help to world criket. T20 is introduced to spread the game.. so ppl shoud stand and support to these teams to come to intl level, thats when game is won altogether,

secondly today match is a another example to india to learn how to play against minnows, probably indian fans were expecting Eng to loose today which didnt happn again, so they may be frighten now, bacos it is going to be fast/bounce track in this tournament so Ind gonna struggle for sure. Eng bowlers did well today and fielding also.. so India can book the tiket back to home soon...good luck Eng for next match and series

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

Why is everybody rating this 26/8 as the worst? Weren't Australia 9 down for 21 and 47 all out in the test match against South Africa last year? The end total is 80. Not bad at all. I would say excellent performance against the defending champs for a budding team.

Posted by Shan156 on (September 21, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

@The_bowlers_Holding, it was in their wishlist. Really feel sorry for the Indian fans more than the Afghan fans. The Afghans played well. It is their inexperience that resulted in a heavy defeat. Boy, what's up with all those no-balls and dropped catches! They will improve. Looking forward to the dead rubber game between India and England. India may underestimate England at their own peril.

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (September 21, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

I would like to congratulate England for getting a comprehensive win. Their next match against our team India is going to be another warm up unfortunately as both the teams has now advanced to the next stage and their group rankings in this round doesnt matter as which team is going to be in which group is already fixed if the teams qualify. As for Afghanistan, they played with a lot of heart and have indeed won a lot of heart, certainly mine. It is always good to see a game where sportspersons seems to be always enjoying the game they play, which is so rare in this age of ultra professionalism. Maybe other teams can learn especially Australia :P that winning is not the only thing in a sport. The way Aus bullied a new and rising team like Ireland was so totally uncool. I wish Afghanistan would take alot of positives and experience from this tournament and wish them good luck for their future.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Alex Hales really was determined to get run out in this game. He was lucky not to be run out off his fourth ball and again later when he backed up too far but the bowler was too far from the stumps and wound up giving away an over-throw. He was a little unlucky in the end with the way he was out but it's always on when hitting straight, especially in T20, where the non-striker is highly likely to be backing up a long way. The more correct a player the striker is, the more at risk the non-striker is.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 21, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

@kc69 Why not make it a triangular tournament and have Zimbabwe involved as well?

Posted by Nampally on (September 21, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

India boosted the Afghanistan hopes by their relatively poor performance. England put Afghanistan exactly at their rightful place with 26 for 8 in 10 overs before letting them get some runs to a more respectable total of 80. Indian team should get some idea of their batting & bowling strength, if you apply the "Rule of three" here. India does not have half decent bowling to match the Major cricketing Nations. They still can replace Chawla, Balaji & Harbhajan with T-20 specialist bowlers who can give India some hope which should include Murali Kartik. Indian batting is not that great as it is made out to be. Hence all the hoopla that the strong batting will bail out a win is just non sense. A "Regular' bowler in T-20 is one who can bowl < 6 runs/over & get wkts. too. Only Ashwin is doing it with some consistencey. ZAK & Balaji are bowling at nearly 10 runs/over - Balaji bowled better against Afghanistan. Irfan is only slightly better. England's win today should be a reality check!.

Posted by whatawicket on (September 21, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

im not sure about the depth of talent, although we dont have 42 y olds. what i like is the age of the team.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

I think that the most heartening thing about this game may have been that England fielded well. They took their catches, which is refreshing after the summer they just finished, and players like Buttler and Bairstow both showed their value in the field, which is funny given that they're both keepers. Excellent run out from Buttler while Broad and Bairstow took a very good catch each. The bowling was also pretty good for the most part. Sterner tests await them obviously, with other teams requiring a bit more thought than just bowling short as they did here. There were also a few too many wides from Finn, which could be costly in a close game. England might be a bit disappointed with letting Afghanistan make 80 after having them 28/8 but at least it gave the bowlers a bit more chance to acclimatise to conditions in the middle, including a chance for Wright to send down an over. Hopefully that makes them more ready for the stronger batting lineups they will face from here on.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 21, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

Funniest moment of the game? Swann's face after going for 16 in an over. Against Afghanistan. Classic.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Kieswetter was again the main concern with the bat for England. The pitch may have taken him a little by surprise, as it certainly didn't play as well as everyone thought that it would, and he wasn't there long enough to really get going but, again, he faced a large proportion of dot balls in a short innings. A wicket maiden to start the innings really threw the pressure onto Hales and Wright, but thankfully they were up to it. I keep thinking more and more that Kieswetter may be the one to miss out if and when KP comes back into the team. That would require them to have the confidence in Bairstow to take the gloves.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

Sometimes it happens even with big team they get all out in a very low score it doesn't mean that they are not talented it is cricket some one is winning and some one is losing. Unfortunately Afghanistan lost today and England win it is a part of the game As an Afghan fan I am not happy with the Afghan performance because they repeat dropping catches and did miss fielding any why they need to work hard and Inshallah next time hopefully they do better performance. People say India is a weak team I think that India is a very Strong team and they might be able to win this Tournament because they have a very strong batting lineups.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

A number of England fans were not happy to see Luke Wright in the squad for this tournament but, while it's early days yet, he looks the business so far. As I've said before, KP is a loss and a player that really can't be replaced directly but if several other players pick up a share of the slack then England don't necessarily have to be weaker. Wright is doing the lion's share at the moment but there were good contributions from Hales, Morgan, Buttler and Bairstow in there too. Those last two didn't make big scores but, with 27 off 12 between them, they kept the momentum going and that was exactly what England needed at the time. I guess the question is whether either or both will be able to play the big innings required if the top order fail at some point. It would be nice if we didn't have to find out but you'd expect that it will happen at least once.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 21, 2012, 17:33 GMT)

There was a lot of talk of an upset before the game, not all of it completely good natured, but that's a very comprehensive win in the end. Afghanistan didn't help themselves with a few mistakes in the field but they were well outplayed regardless. There's a fair amount of talent there and a lot of promise but their time is not now. Even talk of their being better than Bangladesh is unjustified. This is T20, the most volatile format of the game, and they've failed to win a game while Bangladesh made it to the final of the Asia Cup, a 50-over competition, over SL and India. I don't mean to discourage any Afghanistan fans but it's important to remain realistic and not attractive to start rubbishing other teams. I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of them in the future though, so be proud of what they have achieved so far and what they likely will in the future.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (September 21, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

England showed India how its done. India is in big trouble if they continue with this line up. Clearly India's biggest problems are - opening batsmen and pace bowlers. We should get rid of that Flat Track bully - Sehwag - and play Rohit or Virat as opener. Bowling is a bigger problem. India should have rested Zaheer and brought Parvinder Awana and Munaf. There was no need for Piyush Chawla. Munaf is a better T20 bowler while Zaheer is a better test bowler. I guess its too late to make that change.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

I wish Afghanistan Vs India 5 match series!!! they will surely lose to afgan ,that is why India do not give any chance to the minnows team to play with them regular basis, Coz they knw India will definitely lost to the minnows if they play more very often

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

still proud of u all, love the AFGHAN team... ICC must pay attention for the Afghan team talent, in last two years they only played 4 international matches

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 21, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

A great innings for the young Wright, whose been awesome for Sussex for a few years now - now he's finally mastered it in an England shirt. England's bowlers continue their good performances on flat decks. Who can forget Anderson turning his career around, and proving his worth on flat decks? Even in the UAE when the batsmen got brain-freeze, England's bowlers put in top performances on sub-continental pitches. And don't mention to the Aussies that Melbourne test and the recent Ashes. England are off and running nicely in this World Cup.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (September 21, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

@The_bowlers_Holding, these wouldnt be the same 'neutrals' that in 2010 predicted england would lose the Ashes heavily, be humiliated in england by India in 2011, as well as many far off the mark remarks. T20 is one of the most open formats of the game, but teams like Afghanistan are simply out classed by the more professional and experienced teams. It wouldnt be too bad if there were 8 groups with 4 teams in each as with Soccer, followed by a Knockout competition at least youd have associates getting into the latter stages and possibly causing an upset or two along the way, just as we seen the Soccer WC.

Posted by kc69 on (September 21, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

One Happy Stat for Afgans:your team total today is better than the lowest totals of teams like Ireland,Pakistan,India,Bangladesh,West Indies,Kenya and Australia(also equal to lowest total by NewZealand).Keep improving.

Posted by yorkslanka on (September 21, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

congrats to England, who were quite simply, awesome today and for the the clear favourites in this tournament...Afghanistan again, proved they deserve much more exposure to the bigger teams and they should leave with their heads held high...yes they lost but they did not disgrace themselves and unlike all of the other monnows, they overperformed compared to expectations...Looking forward to Eng v India and I predict that England will batter India with the short ball...

Posted by Jaffa79 on (September 21, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

Even though that was one sided, I hope that people don't knock the minnows. It is important that teams like Afghanistan, Ireland, UAE, Kenya, Australia and USA get games in against the big boys.

Posted by Ramansilva on (September 21, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

England team managed well what Indian team struggled to manage. Afghan team also easily surpassed the lowest T20 score of Indians. That was also against strong opposition.

Posted by kc69 on (September 21, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

I would love to see an Afghanistan Vs Bangladesh Series(will be a tight one to call)

Posted by crazy.mechanic on (September 21, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

May be they got too confident and excited for the game against the defending champions!! More than that it will be interesting to see how India plays England in the next dead rubber!

Posted by Jack_India on (September 21, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

England is showing the Indians how it is done. One boundary from Mangal so far with score of 26/8 after 10 overs.

Posted by Wharfeseamer on (September 21, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

I see all our Indian friends are rushing on to comment on this game and follow up on their pre-match predictions

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

what can we call this ? Horror show by Afghans? can you call India rubbish or England the best team.?? what a discipline and perfect performance by England. Afghans looked rubbish all over in every area. India took Afghans easy otherwise they would have embarrassed them too. this team does not deserve test match place.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

this is going to be the biggest lose of Afghanistan since they started cricket in 10 or 15 years this is going to be the biggest lose of their cricket. wow wow wow

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

What are they thinking? 25/6, it would be a bad example for getting ODI status or the future...

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

As an Afghan fan I say congrats to England for a very good win we started really well but i don't know why they played like that any congrats England for a good win Mangal should learn from this ( missed catches again and missed to hit )

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 21, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

This is hilarious today. Had McCullum as my Fantasy team captain for the NZ game, and then JUST before this Eng. game I managed to squeeze in Luke Wright of all people as captain! Great stuff - thanks guys for delivering today!

Posted by kunalx on (September 21, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

This is a perfect example of what inexperience can do to a talented team. Dear Afgans I wish you guys had practiced fielding better, I really wanted to see you win. But surely they have the ability to replace teams like Zim and Bangladesh. Best of luck for the future tournaments. This match is over for you guys. Thanks for coming to World stage.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (September 21, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

After watching the England innings I feel the heavy England defeat predicted by the 'neutrals' may be slightly off the mark, but you never know

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

I don't get this.. why would Afghanistan electo to field first and play under pressure to chase. They should know that England would clobber them if bat first......

Posted by bouncedout on (September 21, 2012, 15:27 GMT)


I recall you asking who Luke Wright was in another post. I assume that his display here has answered your question....

Posted by bouncedout on (September 21, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Superb from England

You watching Randy? You must be very jealous of the depth of talent that England have.

Posted by Mikecricket on (September 21, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

Afghanistan going great against the English at the moment.

Posted by risimati_l on (September 21, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

is the first upset on the cards here

Posted by kc69 on (September 21, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

I surely belive that Afganistan and Ireland are better teams than Bangladesh and Zimbamwe(which are often overrated)

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
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India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
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News | Features Last 3 days