England defeated Afghanistan by five wickets in their opening match at the T20 World Cup on Saturday. Afghanistan got bundled up at 112 in 19.4 overs and the Jos Buttler-led team successfully chased the target in just 18.1 overs.
Sam Curran guided the team closer to victory with brilliant figures of 5/10 aided by some incredible catches after Jos Buttler opted to bowl.
Ibrahim Zadran (32) and Usman Ghani (30) were the two main contributors to Afghanistan.
Wood welcomed Ibrahim Zadran with a 154kph thunderbolt that went past the outside edge after holding its line from just back of a length.
However, the next ball was a full toss and it was duly smashed through the covers, easing Zadran's nerves.
Wood kept bowling fast at the other end, but Zadran was equal to the task, flaying a mean short ball from the English pacer over fine leg for a maximum.
As Afghanistan entered the middle overs looking to improve the run rate, Liam Livingstone pulled off a blinder running in from the deep, to signal the departure of Zazai after the batter had looked to slash one over third man.
With Afghanistan at 37/2 in seven overs, Sam Curran was introduced into the attack, and he succeeded in keeping things tight in the middle.
When England batted, Liam Livingstone (29 off 21 balls) was there till the end to see the team through after they lost five wickets.
Buttler did not last long, falling for an 18-ball 18 to Fazalhaq Farooqi. Alex Hales, too, got out after making 19 in 20. Ben Stokes (2) was out cheaply too, leaving England at 65/3 in the 11th over. It became 97/5 in the 16th over when Rashid Khan dismissed Harry Brook (7)
However, England easily chased the target and started their World Cup campaign on a high note.
- England Playing XI:
Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
- Afghanistan Playing XI:
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi