England's World Cup title defense teeters on the edge as Afghanistan delivers a remarkable upset.


England’s World Cup title defense teeters on the edge as Afghanistan delivers a remarkable upset.

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England’s Cricket World Cup title defense is in jeopardy after a shocking loss to Afghanistan. In a surprising turn of events, Afghanistan, dismissed for 284 with just one ball remaining in their innings in Delhi, managed to bowl out England for 215 with 9.3 overs left. Only Harry Brook provided significant resistance, scoring 66 off 61 balls at Arun Jaitley Stadium.

This historic win marked Afghanistan’s second-ever victory in the World Cup, the first being against Scotland in 2015, which was also their debut appearance. It was Afghanistan’s first-ever ODI win against England, adding to the significance of the victory.

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Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman played a pivotal role, taking 3-51 in 10 overs and scoring a quick 28 off 16 balls, earning him the player-of-the-match award. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the standout performer for Afghanistan, smashing 80 off 57 balls before being run out.

However, England’s campaign is now hanging in the balance, with challenging matches against South Africa, India, and Pakistan on the horizon. The English team had a shaky start in their chase, with Jonny Bairstow falling for just 2 runs.

Dawid Malan and Joe Root added 30 runs for the second wicket, but Afghanistan’s spinners, including Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, created difficulties for the English batters. Despite Harry Brook’s efforts to hold the innings together with a well-fought 66, England couldn’t form substantial partnerships, and Mujeeb and Rashid ran through their lineup.

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Earlier in the match, Afghanistan set the tone with Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran adding 114 runs for the first wicket. England’s part-time bowlers, including Root and Livingstone, were called upon to support Rashid. Afghanistan faced a minor collapse but managed to push past 250 thanks to Ikram Alikhil’s 58 and late contributions from Rashid and Mujeeb.

This defeat adds to a history of surprising World Cup losses for England, including a defeat to Zimbabwe in 1992 and a famous loss to Ireland in 2011. Afghanistan will face New Zealand next, while England is set to take on South Africa in their upcoming matches.

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