T20 warm up game: Afghanistan excel in all departments in win over Scotland

T20 warm up game: Afghanistan excel in all departments in win over Scotland
Image source: ICC

Port of Spain, Trinidad: Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman starred for Afghanistan in a confident win over Scotland in Trinidad.

Having missed out on their batting innings in the warmup game against Oman, Afghanistan made the most of their encounter against Scotland. After a good outing with the bat, the Afghanistan bowlers picked regular wickets and handed the side a solid 55-run win.

Afghanistan elected to bat first in good conditions at the Port of Spain in Trinidad.

All-rounder Gulbadin Naib sent in to open with Rahmanullah Gurbaz helped Afghanistan off to a blistering start. He hit 20 runs in the second over of the innings, hitting two fours and two sixes against Brandon McMullen. Gurbaz and later Ibrahim Zadran tried to match Naib's hitting prowess but fell to attacking shots within the first powerplay.

There was no stopping Naib as he reached his fifty off just 21 balls in the sixth over. Even as Omarzai added stability to the innings, Naib continued going for his shots and Afghanistan looked set for a big total. However, after hitting 11 boundaries inclusive of six sixes, Naib was dismissed in the 10th over when he drove a ball straight into the hands of Scotland skipper Richie Berrington off the bowling of Chris Greaves.

From here, the Afghanistan batting lost its momentum as Scotland bowlers led by Mark Watt (1/27) and Bradley Currie (2/26) managed to stem the flow of runs by picking regular wickets. Captain Rashid Khan arrived in the death overs to hit a quickfire 15 off seven to help Afghanistan to 178/8 in their allotted overs.

The Afghanistan bowlers were into the act early in the innings, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman breaking the opening stand in the fourth over. George Munsey's aggressive display came to an end when Naveen-ul-Haq cleaned his off-stump up in the next over.

The Afghanistan spinners soon had a stranglehold over the game, as Mujeeb picked the third wicket and then Rashid delivered the big breakthrough with the wicket of his opposite number, Richie Berrington. Karim Janat made further inroads in the lower order, and the Scotland innings petered off in the face of a stiff ask.

Afghanistan eventually won by 55 runs to complete their preparations for the T20 World Cup. Their first game is against Uganda on June 4, while Scotland play England in Barbados in their opener.

In the other warm-up fixture of the day in Florida, Sri Lanka took on Ireland.

Sri Lanka saw their batting misfire in the initial phases of the game. Late-order contributions from all-rounders Wanindu Hasaranga (26), Angelo Mathews (32), and Dasun Shanaka (23) helped Sri Lanka post 163 in their allotted overs.

Quickfire knocks from Paul Stirling and George Dockrell were the bright spots in the initial stages of the Ireland chase, but regular breakthroughs kept Sri Lanka ahead, and the island nation took the game by 41 runs.

Dasun Shanaka was the star performer with the ball picking 4/23 in his spell.