New Delhi: England beat Afghanistan by 9 wickets in rain-hit match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Ian Bell led England's run chase with unbeaten 52 runs.
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Bell tucked Nabi's delivery to midwicket to pick up a single and finish off the match.
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England picked up three runs of that over to level the scores.
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James Taylor came in to bat after the departure of Alex Hales. Ian Bell competed a well-compiled fifty with a dab to third-man.
Hales c Afsar Zazai b Hamid Hassan 37 (33b)
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Spin from both end as Samiullah Shenwari was called in to roll his arm over. Bell picked up a boundary courtesy a misfield at deep midwicket.
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Nabi brought himself into the attack. He bowled a tidy first over and even got the bowl to turn a bit.
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Hamid Hassan continued to generate some serious pace. He has been very impressive so far. England require another 54 runs with 10 wickets and 17 overs remaining.
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Alex Hales picked up two boundaries of that Dawlat over. England are motoring along now.
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Shapoor continues and Hales gets a cracking shot past the sweeper cover fielder for four. Another chance gone begging. Hales goes for an expensive drive and gives a catch to the point fielder who misses. The next ball is left alone by Bell.
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Hassan comes to bowl and the first ball is placed in line but took the edge before hitting the pads. Rythm looks nice from Hassan. Bell defends the next ball. A run comes off the last ball.
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Shapoor Zadran continues and Bell is early on to his shot and the ball just goes over extra-cover fielder for a brace. Bell goes big and punishes Shapoor over the in-field for a four. Juicy full deliveries and Bell doesn't miss on those. A single is taken off the next ball. England look in a hurry here. Hales leaves the next two balls alone.
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Hales faces Dawlat Zadran and the first ball is spanked over square-leg for six. The next ball he tries a similar shot but the ball narrowly misses the mid-on fielder. Bell then smacks one through midwicket for a four. Short balls isn't what Afghanistan want. Dawlat should bowl according to his field. Bell scampers for a single on the on side. The next ball is defended on the off side. Consistency is the key here.
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Shapoor Zadran starts with the proceedings Hales leaves the first ball and defends the second to the off side. He is then dropped by Najib Zadran at point. Good chance that. Bell then wallops a shot past the cover and mid-off fielder for four.
England are set a target of 101 from 25 overs.
Another inspection to follow. Lets see what is on the cards.
The covers are off and the rain has stopped, there will be a further inspection in 10 minutes, final cut off 9.06pm pic.twitter.com/y4P3KVN6t9
— ICC (@ICC) March 13, 2015
Afghanistan innings closed at 111 for 7.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 13, 2015
Oops a daisy! Just as the umpires were about to get on the field for inspection, the rain returned.
The covers are off in Sydney! The umpires will inspect the pitch. We could have a game here.
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) March 13, 2015
Rain is continuing to fall and it could also be the end of the Afghan innings. No official word on anything but that is a possibility.
Further loss of overs are predicted as rains continue to fall.
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Broad bowls another tight over conceding just two runs. Najibullah Zadran then drills one over Jordan's head for a four. Rain comes down again and for a third time we are having a delay as the players make their way out.
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AFGHANS HAVE LOST THEIR WAY IN SYDNEY!
Oh no! Another batsman departs. This time it's Shafiqullah who tries to sweep Tredwell and Bopara comes from fine leg area to get hold of a running catch. He goes for 30. Najibullah Zadran then smacks a four with a sublime sweep shot.
Shafiqullah c Bopara b Tredwell 30 (64b)
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Najibullah Zadran is the new man in and four runs come from Tredwell's over. Shafiqullah then edges Broad towards the vacant slip region and gets two runs. Another four runs come.
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SKIPPER NABI DEPARTS!
Nabi after getting some momentum departs. He tries to pull a short ball from Bopara but gets it straight to mid-on fielder. Tredwell takes the catch.
Mohammad Nabi c Tredwell b Bopara 16 (17b)
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Nabi makes room and powers one through covers for a four. Excellent shot that from the skipper. Two more runs are collected in front of deep cover. Bopara's over goes for seven runs. Tredwell then bowls an excellent over conceding just two runs. Afghans need a move on and with batting powerplay coming soon they need to maximise as much as they can.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 13, 2015
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NABI HITS FIRST SIX OF THE MATCH!
Mohammad Nabi makes way and spanks Tredwell over extra-cover region for a maximum. Eight runs come from the over.
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Tredwell continues and Afghans get just three runs from the over. Shafiqullah then picks his space wide of mid-on for a four off Bopara. They get six runs from the over.
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Play has resumed and Bopara gets success instantly. Jamal gets forward and tries to open the face of the bat and offers a simple catch to Buttler.
Nasir Jamal c Buttler b Bopara 17 (52b)
Rain seems to have stopped. Covers are coming off. match might be reduced to 45 overs a side.
Rain is still pouring down and there could be a reduction in overs once the match begins.
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Six runs come from Broad and Tredwell's over before rains come and stop the match once again. Covers are on and there will be a delay.
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Tredwell is given the ball and Afghanistan gets just a solitary run from his over. They need a push on as the run-rate is very minimal.
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FIFTY UP FOR AFGHANISTAN!
Four single come from the first five balls that included a wide. Nasir Jamal hits Bopara for a four through mid-on area. Broad comes back to bowl and Shafiqullah tucks a ball away off his hips for a single. The next ball is defended off the crease before Jamal gets a single pushing the ball through covers. The next three balls are defended.
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Bopara bowls a full outswinger and Shafiqullah gets a couple after placing the ball past slips. Then another brace is collected through midwicket region. Jordan continues and well he gets a rising ball and Jamal tries to play through fine leg, there is an appeal for caught behind and umpire gives it out. Afghans review the decision and it didn't hit anything decision is overturned. Jamal defends the rest four balls before getting a shot away past cover for four.
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Three runs have come from two overs. England haven't allowed anything for the batting side as they have played some loose shots under the overcast conditions to give their wickets away. Jordan and Bopara have continued with the good work.
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AFGHANS ARE IN TROUBLE!
Well the match is underway and 16 overs have gone by. Most importantly England have taken two more wickets meanwhile. Chris Jordan getting both his victims. Zazai was the first to fall after the rain-break. He edged a ball straight to Buttler. Shenwari then goes after having made just seven runs. He slashes straight to the point fielder. Shafiqullah is the new man in and he needs to apply himself here. Big test of character for Afghans here. The rest of the over is defended. Maiden wicket for Jordan.
Samiullah Shenwari c Morgan b Jordan 7 (11b)
Afsar Zazai c Buttler b Jordan 6 (14b)
Covers off at the SCG We will start in 5 minutes time.
RAIN RAIN GO AWAY!
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) March 13, 2015
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Amazing delivery from Anderson as it holds its line and goes to the keeper. Terrific stuff this. The next ball is pushed towards mid-on and a couple is collected. Zazai collects another brace and this time it's through the on side. Oops rain is falling and umpires have decided to call everyone off the field as covers come on.
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Afghans lose their second wicket and this time it is Ahmadi. He drives and finds Root at first slip.
Javed Ahmadi c Root b Broad 7 (15b)
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ANDERSON BREAKS AFGHAN HEARTS!
Anderson's first ball is defended well and the next one is cut towards third man for a single. Anderson then gets the breakthrough as Mangal departs. No real foot movement there just edging the ball as it shapes away and first slip fielder takes the catch. Zazai is the new batsman in and there are four slip fielders to put pressure. he defends the first ball. The next one is played on to fine leg for a single. A wide delivery follows outside off stump. A quick single comes then.
Nawroz Mangal c Root b Anderson 4 (28b)
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Another good looking over from Anderson as he keeps it consistent outside the off line channel. A run comes from the over courtesy a wide. Broad continues and Ahmadi drives between point and cover-point for three runs. Good from Broad he teases the batsman to go for a drive and miss.
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First two deliveries are left alone and the next ball is an inswinger and there is an appeal for a caught behind but umpire rubbishes the excitement. Managal then defends the ball on the off side. They need a solid start here as it will not be easy given the pitch conditions. Seeing off the new ball will be key. A single comes from the last ball of the over.
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Anderson bowls a good ball and it misses the edge of Mangal. The next delivery he gets a single after playing a shot as the ball goes towards third man. The next ball is left alone by Ahmadi before he solidly defends the fourth one. Good start here for Afghanistan as they haven't yet lost a wicket. The last two deliveries are defended and only a single comes from the over.
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Broad starts with the second over and begins with a wide. Mangal then gets an edge but it falls short of the slip fielder. The next ball is left alone. Mangal then drives towards the mid-off fielder who fumbles and the batsmen scamper for a single. Ahmadi goes for a big swing outside off stump and misses. Another edge this time and it falls away of third slip and batsmen run quickly for a couple. A cover drive is hit straight to the fielder.
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Javed Ahmadi faces James Anderson and gets a single towards the third man area. The next two balls are outside off stump and shape away and is left by Nawroz Mangal. The next ball comes in and gets Mangal's upper pads and goes for a four. The next ball is again left alone. Soft hands and Afghans get a single of the last ball.
The teams have sung their national anthems and teams are about to get action kick started in just a while.
England have won the toss and elected to bowl first.
— Afghan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) March 13, 2015
England: Ian Bell, Alex Hales, James Taylor, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Jos Buttler(w), Ravi Bopara, Chris Jordan, James Tredwell, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Afghanistan: Nawroz Mangal, Javed Ahmadi, Afsar Zazai(w), Nasir Jamal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Mohammad Nabi(c), Najibullah Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan
Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL), S Ravi (IND)
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
Weather: Cloudy, with high chance of showers. Maximum temperature, 23 Celsius.
PREVIEW: Afghanistan believe they`ve still "got a scare" left in them ahead of their World Cup finale against England in Sydney on Friday.
Remarkably, both sides will go into the match with exactly the same number of points after enjoying a win apiece over Scotland, like Afghanistan a non-Test side.
While Afghanistan`s one-wicket defeat of Scotland was the latest chapter in a remarkable rise that has taken them from the lowest rung of international cricket to the game`s showpiece tournament in barely seven years, for England victory over their neighbours couldn`t salvage another wretched World Cup.
Australia (111 runs), New Zealand (eight wickets) and Sri Lanka (nine wickets) all inflicted thumping Pool A defeats upon Eoin Morgan`s team, while Monday saw Bangladesh display greater nerve and skill in a winner-takes-all clash for a quarter-final place with a 15-run victory in Adelaide.
Now Afghanistan coach Andy Moles wants his free-spirited side, featuring pacemen Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran, as well as several hard-hitting batsmen, to pile on the agony.
Mohammad Nabi (captain), Afsar Zazai (wicket-keeper), Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Najibullah Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah (wicket-keeper), Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani
Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes