In their final group stage match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, Afghanistan faced a formidable West Indies side that delivered a record-breaking performance, particularly in the powerplay overs. Led by Nicholas Pooran’s explosive 98 and Johnson Charles’ supporting 43, the West Indies set a new milestone by scoring 92 runs in the first six overs, which is now the highest powerplay score in T20 World Cup history. This achievement surpassed the previous record of 91 runs set by the Netherlands against Ireland in 2014.

Despite the West Indies’ dominant start, Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan acknowledged their opponent’s exceptional batting display, emphasizing the challenge of recovering after conceding such a massive score early on. He highlighted that despite the tough start, Afghanistan managed to bowl reasonably well in the middle overs to restrict the West Indies to under 220 runs.

“They were incredible with the way they started in the powerplay, but we pulled it back in the middle overs and it was a good effort to restrict them to under 220,” Rashid stated in a post-match presentation.

Reflecting on the match, Rashid Khan pointed out that his team will take valuable lessons from this defeat, their first in the World Cup, which will help them improve going forward. He noted the importance of executing their bowling plans effectively, especially considering external factors like the strong breeze during the match, which influenced the strategy for choosing ends and managing the over rates.

“It is good that happened in this game and take away the learnings into the next round. There was a strong breeze blowing and bowling into the wicket was the way to go,” he atteched.

Looking ahead, Afghanistan will use the insights gained from this match to prepare for the Super Eight stage, where they will face tougher challenges. Their next match in Barbados against India will be a critical test as they aim to bounce back and make an impact in the tournament.

“As a bowler you need to come up with plans to keep the scoring to below under 10. The morale is still pretty high and this loss does not affect us. We have achieved our first goal of reaching the Super 8s and now it is about taking the next step,” Rashid stated.

Overall, despite the defeat, Rashid Khan remains optimistic, viewing this setback as a learning opportunity that will contribute to their development and performance in the upcoming rounds of the T20 World Cup.

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