Afghanistan v India: Asia Cup Cricket match ends in tie
Opted from BBC/Indian news by Afzal Nasiri
ScoreCard: Afghanistan 252-8 (50 overs) India 252 all out ( 49.5 overs)
Latest score from the Asian Cup Super Four stage match between India and Afghanistan ended in a tie. The match is being played in Dubai as part of the Asian Cup.
Afghanistan bowled India out off the penultimate ball of the game to earn a thrilling tie in the Asian Cup.
India, who had qualified for the Friday’s final, needed seven off the final over and one from the last two balls in the dead –rubber Super four match.
But Ravinder Jadeja top-edged a pull off leg-spinner Rashid Khan to mid-wicket to fall for 25.
Mohammad Shahzad made 124 and Mohammad Nabi 64 in Afghanistan’s 252 for 8 as Jadeja took 3 for 46.
Indian players on the dressing balcony celebrated what seemed a certain win after Jadeja hit the second ball of the final over for four.
But 20-year old Rashid, who starred for Sussex (English County Cricket) in this summer’s T20 Blast (20 over matches), held his nerve to secure the 36th tie in one day International History.
In the other qualifying match Pakistan is playing Bangladesh to win the right to face India in the finals, who have already won a place.
History of Cricket in Afghanistan:
For Afghan boys to come this far in International Cricket is a great achievement. Cricket is an old English sport. It is popular in England , Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ireland and Scotland (note : all colonized countries).
Cricket became popular in Afghanistan during and after the Soviet invasion and migration of Afghans, in millions, to Pakistan. Needless to say it is very popular in Pakistan. Cricket is a positive influence on Afghan youth. It is a by-product of Afghan Jihad against Soviet Union.
In the sub- Continent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) cricket has been played since the turn of the century (20th Century). Indians and population of Pakistan are accustomed to cricket since 1920s and 30s, Afghanistan youth were introduced to the game of cricket in 1980s and 90s and have come a long way to challenge the versatile Indians and Pakistanis.
When I left Afghanistan in 1980 after the Soviet Invasion, Cricket was a far cry from being popular. Occasionally Pakistani, Indian and British Embassies would play among and between themselves. There were no clubs or established cricket teams in Kabul.
In recent past Afghanistan has beaten Ireland, Scotland,Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Cricketers consider it an honor to play in English County cricket. They also earn very well while enjoying cricket. Afghanistan has a few cricketers in English League. Shahzad, Rashid and Gulbadin are a few of them.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan used to be a cricketer. He has also captained Pakistan. He was a very talented batsman and a pace bowler during his time in 1970s. He holds quite a few records for Pakistan.
Brilliant Rashid And Naib outclass Bangladesh:
Previously a stunning all- round performance by Rashid Khan and resilient all-rounder (can bowl and bat) Gulbadin Naib ensured Afghanistan beat Bangladesh comfortably by a big margin of 136 runs.
Afghanistan were struggling when Rashid came to bat at 160 for 7 to partner with Gulbadin Naib. The pair put on an unbeaten partnership of 95 runs for the eighth wicket. They took Afghanistan to a defendable total of 255/7.
Bangladesh batsmen were no match to the disciplined bowling attack of Afghanistan as they were bundled out for 119. Rashid Khan, Gulbadin and Mujeeb Rahman bagged two wickets each while Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Shah and Aftab Alam contributed with one wicket each.
Afghanistan played next with Pakistan and lost by a narrow margin.
However, Pakistan lost to Bangladesh in the semi-finals to win the right to play India in the finals of Asian Cup on Friday September 28th/2018 in Dubai.
Semi- final scores:
Bangladesh: 239 all out/ Junaid 4 for 19
Pakistan : 202 for 9/Mustafizur 4 for 43
Bangladesh win by 37 runs.