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16-year-old shatters records to produce Afghanistan’s first win in their Test era

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    It’s just three days after they won a trophy. Yet they aren’t tired. War-torn Afghanistan keeps producing new talents who rise from the ashes.

    Now one of the full members in cricket, what distinguishes the Afghans from other nations is that cricket was legalised only in 2000. This is unlike the other full nations which proudly boast their cricket centenaries.

    Aptly, the 21st-century cricket nation produced the first international cricketer born in the 21st century – Mujeeb Zadran. Being just 16, Mujeeb lived up to the faith of his coach, Lalchand Rajput, by taking four wickets on debut to reduce Ireland to 30/5. The Afghans didn’t show a trace of mercy against Ireland, who enjoyed a 200+ run victory a few days back.

    Here are the numbers from this ODI match as Afghans commenced their post-Test era in a grand manner with a 138-run win.

    1 – This is the first time both the teams are playing their first international match as a full member in the same game (since the first ever Test match of 1877).

    2 – Afghanistan is only the second team to win its first international match being a full member, after Australia in the very first Test match in 1877.

    16y 252d – Mujeeb Zadran’s age, born on 28 March 2001, becomes the first male international cricketer born in this millennium. Interestingly, there are four such women who already made their international debuts. Gaby Lewis of Ireland is the first ever third-millennium cricketer, making her debut in September 2014. She was born in March 2001, just a day before Mujeeb. The three other female cricketers are Louise Little and Lara Maritz, both from Ireland, along with Qiana Joseph from the West Indies.

    17y 2d – Age of the previous younger cricketer to play international cricket before Mujeeb Zadran. It’s none other than his Under-19 captain Naveen-ul-Haq who made his debut against Bangladesh last year.

    4 – Mujeeb Zadran is the fourth-youngest bowler to take a wicket in international cricket after Aaqib Javed, Shahid Afridi and Talha Jubair.

    0 – Bowlers who took a four-wicket haul in any format of international cricket at a younger age than Mujeeb. He broke the 15-year-old record, earlier held by the Bangladeshi medium pacer Talha Jubair in 2002, against South Africa in Potchefstroom at the age of 16y 297d.

    1 – Only one player won man-of-the-match in ODIs at a younger age than Mujeeb – none other than Shahid Afridi, who scored 102 in 40 balls against Sri Lanka in just his second match at the age of 16y 217d, breaking the fastest ODI century record that stood until 2014.

    16y 344d – The difference between the average ages of the two Irish bowlers who took seven wickets combined when compared to the two Afghan bowlers who took seven wickets combined. Both the Afghan bowlers, Mujeeb and Rashid, are under 20 while both the Irish bowlers, Rankin and Murtagh, are over 33. The difference is so vast that it exceeds Mujeeb Zadran’s actual age by three months.

    5 – This is Ireland’s fifth-lowest total in ODIs and their lowest against Afghanistan. Their other lower scores are:
    • 77 v Sri Lanka in 2007
    • 82 v Pakistan in 2016
    • 91 v Australia in 2007
    • 96 v Pakistan in 2011

    138 – Afghanistan’s largest victory in an ODI match by runs. In fact, this is only their third win by a margin of over 100 runs, with both the other instances being against Zimbabwe.

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