Rahmat Shah fell to a turning leg break, leading to a swift stumping by Jos Buttler. The biggest blow, however, was yet to come as Rahmanullah Gurbaz became a victim of a run-out initiated by skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi.
England's spinners, supported by the extra pace of Mark Wood, put the brakes on Afghanistan's momentum, causing them to slip from 114/0 to 190/6.
In the face of mounting pressure, young Ikram Alikhil made a stunning debut in this World Cup. He crafted a stylish half-century with remarkable composure against both pace and spin.
Alikhil formed valuable partnerships with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, ensuring Afghanistan's total exceeded initial expectations.
The Afghanistan lower order displayed resilience, ultimately pushing their total to a competitive 284. England had a few lapses in the death overs, with some wayward deliveries, particularly from Sam Curran, but the fightback put up a strong score on the board.
The stage is set for an exciting second innings, with England now tasked with chasing down the target set by Afghanistan.
In the face of an impressive batting display and a resilient lower-order fightback, it remains to be seen if England's top order can rise to the challenge and secure a victory in this thrilling encounter.">