Afghan spinners are no pushovers: KL Rahul

Widely considered as the minnows ahead of the tournament, Afghanistan has emerged as one of the most impressive sides in the ongoing Asia Cup.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Afghanistan’s display of spirited cricket left the fans astounded on Tuesday as they put up a stellar performance to bind India with a draw in the former’s final game of the Asia Cup 2018. Coming into the tournament, Afghanistan was one of the weaker teams and emerged as the most impressive side in the ongoing tournament losing two matches by really close margins and ending at levels against the Indians. KL Rahul who was added to the XI for the final Super Fours game was just as impressed by the opposition’s performances.

Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stages at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi to qualify for the Super Fours round. From thereon, their campaign went downhill as they narrowly lost to Pakistan by three wickets with three balls remaining and to Bangladesh by merely three runs. However, the more important thing to note was the determination which the Afghans exercised until the very end of each match.

KL Rahul lauds Afghanistan for their spirited performance

Indian opener Rahul joined the long list of people praising the Afghanistan side for the brave brand of cricket they’ve been playing. Calling Tuesday’s game an “exciting tie”, Rahul opined, “We’ve seen how much they’ve improved over the last two years. Rashid, Mujeeb, Nabi – all these guys have played in the IPL, they play around the world in different franchises. We can’t look at them and think they’re a walkover. They keep proving it over and over again.”

Playing against India at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday, Afghanistan put up 252 runs on the board, aided by a dazzling century from the bat of their opener Mohammad Shahzad. While many may have thought this score would be insufficient against an ODI side like India, the Asghar Afghan-led side came back into the game brilliantly.

Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Aftab Alam, in particular, impressed one and all as they picked up 2 wickets apiece. In the end, it was Rashid who successfully defended 7 runs in the last over and tied India to a draw with a ball to spare in the innings.

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