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Afghanistan cruise to comfortable win riding on fifties from Shahzad, Stanikzai

Mohammad Shahzad scored a blistering 61 off just 39 deliveries for Afghanistan.
Mohammad Shahzad scored a blistering 61 off just 39 deliveries for Afghanistan.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Afghanistan 170-5 (Shahzad 61) beat
Scotland 156-5 (Munsey 41) by 14 runs
Second Match, Group B ICC World Twenty20, Nagpur

On the back of a flamboyant 39-ball 61 from Mohammad Shahzad and an unbeaten fifty from Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan posted a target of 171 runs and went on to defeat Scotland by 14 runs in in the second match of the first round in Group B in the ICC World Twenty20 in Nagpur.

Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first. Shahzad (61) got the team off to a positive start with a boundary through the covers.

Noor Ali Zadran (17) followed it up with two fours and a six but was caught at third man in the third over off Alasdair Evans (1-24). At the end of the powerplay, Afghanistan were posted at 41 for one.

In the next three overs, Shahzad struck three sixes and a four as Afghanistan raced away to 79 for one at the halfway stage.

Shahzad brought up his 10th T20I fifty in the 12th over and struck two more fours before he holed out to long on off Mark Watt (1-30).

Scotland managed to pull the scoring rate down after the fall of Shahzad and also accounted for the wickets of Gulbadin Naib (12) and Mohammad Nabi (1) by the 18th over.

With two overs left in the game, Afghanistan were positioned at 142 for four. Shafiqullah Shafiq (14) hit two boundaries in the penultimate over but was run out in the second ball of the final over.

Stanikzai completed his fifty as Afghanistan scored 170 for five in 20 overs.

On a slow pitch, Scotland got off to a great start, thanks to an 84-run opening stand between George Munsey (41) and Kyle Coetzer (40).

By the end of the powerplay, Munsey had struck seven boundaries while Coetzer hit three fours and a six to plunder 60 runs from the first six overs.

However, Afghanistan came back into the game quickly by dismissing both Coetzer and Munsey in the space of three balls spread across the ninth and 10th overs. At the halfway mark, Scotland needed 77 runs from 60 balls.

In the 11th over, Callum MacLeod (2) slipped while attempting a second run and was subsequently run out.

An over later, Richie Berrington (8) ventured out of the crease trying to tackle a googly from Rashid Khan (2-28) and was stumped.

The asking rate kept climbing as Afghanistan conceded no boundaries between overs 10 and 17. With three overs left, Scotland needed 39 runs for a win.

Matt Machan (36) and Preston Mommsen (17 not out) scored 12 runs off the 18th over but Mohammad Nabi (1-27) bowled a tight penultimate over and dismissed Machan as well.

With 21 runs needed from the final over, Scotland only managed six runs ending their innings at 156 for five and handing Afghanistan a 14-run win. Shahzad won the man of the match award.

© Cricket World 2016