Mohammad Shahzad played some unorthodox shots © Getty Images
Mohammad Shahzad played some unorthodox shots © Getty Images

Afghanistan have reached a formidable total of 170 for 5 in their 20 overs against Scotland in the ICC World T20 2016, 2nd qualifier at Nagpur. Mohammad Shahzad was the mastermind of the innings with a crushing 39-ball 61. Things started well for Afghanistan, with both openers — Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran — taking the attack to the bowlers. However, Alasdair Evans managed to bowl smartly enough to get Noor dismissed. For a while, Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai looked to build a partnership sedately. In the powerplay period, Afghanistan reached a score of 41 for 1. Shahzad realised the team’s position was ripe for him to play an innings true to his style. Live Scorecard: Afghanistan vs Scotland, ICC World T20 2016, group B match at Nagpur

Once again he was largely successful. He played some rather unconventional shots and displayed uncanny flexibility in their manufacture. He raced away to fifty, bringing up the milestone off the 32nd ball. Finally he was dismissed for a 39-ball 61 by Mark Watt. Watt bowled very well throughout the day.

Gulbadin Naib was the next man in and while he is typically a dangerous batsman, was unable to make too much of an impact today. The pressure of scoring at a more rapid rate got to him and he perished for 12 off 11 deliveries to Josh Davey. Stanikzai played the anchor for most part of the innings. However, he played more aggressive shots towards the end of the innings.

Naib’s wicket brought Mohammad Nabi to the crease. Nabi did not last too long either. He was run out for a single in the haste of quick runs towards the death stages of the game. Shafiqullah Shafaq played a brisk knock to add late impetus to the innings. He scored a 5-ball 14.

Apart from Evans and Watt, Safyaan Sharif also bowled very well. He got his yorkers right for most part, and used them in generous quantities to maintain uncertainty in minds of the batsmen. In his four overs he conceded just 29 runs, and even that after Shafaq got two lucky boundaries of his final couple of deliveries.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan 170 for 2 in 20 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 61, Asghar Stanikzai 55; Alasdair Evans 1 for 24) vs Scotland.