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In the history of the ICC U-19 World Cup as Afghanistan thrashed hosts New Zealand by 202 runs on Wednesday to enter the semi-final for the first time.

New Zealand, who were undefeated in the league stages and were favorites heading into the contest, were given a rude shock by Afghanistan who put up a brilliant show with both bat and ball to dump them out of the competition.

After opting to bat, Afghanistan got off to a great start with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (69) and Ibrahim Zadran (68) scoring fifties. The 117-run stand was broken by Sandeep Patel but the stage was set for Bahir Shah to display his mettle. The 17-year-old from Kunar, who has been making big waves in first-class cricket with an average of 121, ensured that the start was not wasted and struck a vital 67 off 72 balls.

However, it was Azmatullah Omarzai’s knock which deflated New Zealand totally by blasting a fifty off just 19 balls. His 66 off 23 balls, studded with three fours and seven sixes took Afghanistan to 309/6.

In response, New Zealand started off disastrously and was reduced to 20/4 with off-spinner Mujeeb Zadran picking up two early wickets. The disastrous start put New Zealand out of the contest and it was only a matter of time before Afghanistan eyed victory.

Mujeeb (4/14) was joined by legspinner Qais Ahmed and the duo ripped through the middle order. Qais finished with figures of 4/33 as Afghanistan secured a famous win. The 202-run loss is New Zealand’s heaviest in the history of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.


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