Rahmanullah Gurbaz celebrates after scoring a T20I century against UAE.© X (formerly Twitter)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s century powered Afghanistan to clinch a 72-run win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first T20I match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. After winning the toss, UAE opted to field first but their decision did not go in their favour after the hosts’ bowling attack failed to keep a check on Afghanistan’s run rate in Sharjah. Afghan opener Hazratullah Zazai (13 runs from 16 balls) failed to make a mark but Gurbaz (100 runs from 52 balls) shined against the UAE bowling attack to post 203/3 for the Afghans. Ibrahim Zadran (59 runs from 43 balls) also played a crucial role by making a solid partnership with Gurbaz.
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On the other hand, Muhammad Jawadullah, Junaid Siddique and Aayan Khan were the only wicket-takers for the host.
In the run chase, Vriitya Aravind (70* runs from 64 balls) played an unbeaten knock in the second inning but could not make a solid partnership with his teammates.
Meanwhile, the Afghan bowling attack displayed a quality performance to defend the target. Fazalhaq Farooqi scalped two wickets in his four-over spell and gifted 19 runs. Naveen-ul-Haq and Qais Ahmad took one wicket each in their respective spells to seal a 72-run win in the first match of the three-game series.
Gurbaz was named the ‘Player of the Match’ after his onslaught in the first inning.
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