So much promise, not enough wins – Afghanistan tournament review
Most runs - Ibrahim Zadran (80)
Most wickets - Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4)
What went right
Afghanistan showed they are a world class bowling unit once again. Spin has generally been their strength over recent years but the pacers really came to the party this time.
Left-arm quick Fazalhaq Farooqi was brilliant throughout the course of the tournament as he claimed three wickets while going at only 6.52 runs per over.
The bowlers were on song against England, where they made Jos Buttler and his men toil hard to chase down 113. They were equally good against Sri Lanka and Australia, even though they couldn’t register a win in any match.
What went wrong
Batting and weather. These can be cited as the main reasons behind Afghanistan's exit from the competition this time. The batters didn't really step up when they needed to and that didn't allow Afghanistan to gain vital points.
Their best performance was against Australia where they almost ended up chasing down 169. But even that was due to the efforts of the lower-order batters, led by Rashid Khan's magnificent 48* from 23 deliveries.
The Australian weather wasn't kind on Afghanistan either. Two of their five matches were abandoned due to rain, denying them the opportunity to compete against New Zealand and Ireland.
What does the future look like?
Afghanistan has been a sleeping giant for a long time and they continue to be so even now. But the future holds a lot of promise for them as there are some really talented young players in the squad who can become world beaters in the years ahead.
All of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan have shown what they are capable of and they will be eager to deliver an improved performance in the next ICC event, which will be the 50-over World Cup in India next year.
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