World Twenty20 Day 1: Opening wins for Afghanistan and Zimbabwe

Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad (R) is watched by Scotland's wicketkeeper Matt Cross as he plays a shot during the ICC World T20 cricket tournament match between Afghanistan and Scotland at The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on March 8, 2016. / AFP / STR
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Opening batsman Mohammed Shahzad and captain Asghar Stanikzai smashed half-centuries as Afghanistan defeated Scotland by 14 runs in the World Twenty20 on Tuesday.

Shahzad hit five fours and three sixes in a superb display of power hitting to make 61 off 39 balls, while Stanikzai’s unbeaten 50-ball knock of 55 helped Afghanistan reach 170 for five in the Group B match.

Scotland couldn’t capitalise on a solid opening stand of 84 runs off 53 balls between George Munsey (41) and Kyle Coetzer (40) to finish on 156 for five, with Afghanistan hitting back through leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who took 2-28.


Afghanistan 170/5 (20/20 ov)

Shahzad 61, Stanikzai 55 n o; Evans 1-24, Watt 1-30

Scotland 86/2 (9.3/20 ov)

Munsey 41, Coetzer 40; Rashid 2-28

Afghanistan won by 14 runs

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Zimbabwebeat Afghanistan by 14 runs

NAGPUR // Opener Vusi Sibanda struck a fluent half-century to help Zimbabwe defeat a scandal-hit Hong Kong by 14 runs in the opening group encounter of the World T20 in Nagpur Tuesday.

Stung by a corruption charge prior to the start of the sixth edition of the tournament, Hong Kong had their moments in the game but failed to capitalise.

Electing to field, Hong Kong’s bowlers made early inroads but Sibanda held fort with a 46-ball 59 to guide his side to 158 for eight.

Sibanda’s 61-run fifth wicket partnership with Malcolm Waller and a late blitz by Elton Chigumbura ensured the total remained beyond the grasp of Hong Kong who in turn could only manage 144 for six in their 20 overs.

The Tanwir Afzal-led side lost a couple of early wickets, but opener Jamie Atkinson put up some fight with a gutsy 53 off 44 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes.

A late flourish by Afzal (31 not out) gave the team some hope but the ever-increasing run rate proved too much for a side participating in just its second World T20.

Hong Kong’s preparations were badly hit by the suspension of their all-rounder Irfan Ahmed in January as part of an continuing corruption investigation and the opening day loss has only added salt to their wounds.

Among from the positives that Hong Kong could gather from the outing was their near-perfect fielding that forced three run-outs and yielded some good catches in the Zimbabwe innings.

Other Group B members Afghanistan and Scotland are up next in the second game of the day.


Zimbabwe 158/8 (20/20 ov)

Sibanda 59, Chigumbura 30 n o; Afzal 2-19, Aizaz 2-33

Hong Kong 144/6 (20.0/20 ov)

Atkinson 53, Afzal 31 n o; Tiripano 2-27, Chatara 2-28

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