Afghanistan cricket team
Mohammad Shahzad[photo: Twitter]

On Sunday, Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad became the first batsman from his country to reach the 2000-run mark in T20Is. He achieved this feat during his 45-run knock versus Namibia in Abu Dhabi in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Mohammad Shahzad now has scored 2011 runs in 68 T20I innings, averaging 30.93 while batting at a strike rate of 134. He has slammed 12 half-centuries and a hundred in his T20I career so far.

Captain Mohammad Nabi is Afghanistan’s second-leading run-scorer in the shortest format, with 1474 runs at a strike rate of 145. Former skipper Asghar Afghan, who retired on Sunday, is third on the list with 1382 runs.

India captain Virat Kohli leads the T20I batting charts with 3216 runs at an incredible average of 52.

Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad vs Namibia. Image-Twitter

Mohammad Shahzad could have had plenty of more runs but for his three-year absence from Afghanistan’s T20I team. He was recalled for this year’s T20 World Cup after having not played a game since 2018.

Afghanistan post 160 vs Namibia

After electing to bat first, Afghanistan got a solid start as Hazratullah Zazai whacked a four and a six in the first over by Ruben Trumpelmann. The left-hander then carted the same bowler for a couple of more boundaries before smashing Jan Frylinck for a pair of six and four.

Mohammad Shahzad, who had been a spectator till then, joined in the fun with a boundary and a maximum to David Wiese as Afghanistan reached 50/0 at the end of the powerplay.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan. Image Source: Twitter

JJ Smit provided Namibia with their first breakthrough dismissing Zazai for 33 off 27 balls. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was trapped lbw by Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton. Shahzad upped the ante with a maximum to the spinner before Trumpelmann returned to dismiss the opener. Najibullah Zadran fell to Loftie-Eaton, also lbw, as Afghanistan stuttered.

Playing his last international match, Asghar Afghan was in good touch, smacking a six off Frylinck and a couple of fours to Smit. Nabi’s late cameo of 32 runs from 17 deliveries helped his side to 160.

Afghanistan, who have won one game and lost one, will need a victory versus Namibia to further strengthen their contention for a semi-final spot.

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