World cup Match 17 Afghanistan v Scotland Review: Another World cup worthy match

World cup Match 17 Afghanistan v Scotland Review: Another World cup worthy match

World Cup Match 17 Afghanistan v Scotland Review: Another World cup worthy match: Scotland batted first after being put in by Afghanistan in the first match of this double-header on Thursday. The pitch at Dunedin seemed to be a good one with help to quick bowlers in both teams, but the advantage of bowling first went to Afghanistan. The match turned out to be another epic last over thriller. It seems the associate nations are more eager to give the audience a better encounter than their full-time counterparts.

Afghan speedster Shapoor Zadran was the main destroyer in the Scots innings. (© Getty Images)
Afghan speedster Shapoor Zadran was the main destroyer in the Scots innings. (© Getty Images)

The Afghan bowling did let the Scots settle a bit and they lost the wickets at regular intervals. Afghan speedster Shapoor Zadran was the main destroyer in the Scots innings. Before him Dawlat Zadran had picked up crucial early wickets for Shapoor to come in and take the middle order wickets with ease.  The Scottish innings was held together by contributions from Matt Machan (31), Majid Haq (35), Richie Berrington (25) and Kyle Coetzer (25). These little contributions from them took Scotland to 210 from 50 overs. The main wicket takers were Shapoor Zadran (4/38) and Dawlat Zadran (3/29).

The Afghan innings had only 2 heroes. The opener Javed Ahmadi (51), whose half century gave some credibility to Afghan innings in the beginning and Samiullah Shenwari. Shenwari waged a lone battle against the Scotland bowlers during his truly epic innings of 96 off 147 balls which eventually got Afghanistan home. Shenwari first with Ahmadi rebuilt the Afghan innings slowly and took all the singles and twos on the offer. After Ahmadi departed for 51, Afghanistan again lost wickets at regular pace but the constant was Shenwari, who stood there like a rock.  He finally got some support from Hamid Hassan and the duo started taking Afghanistan towards an improbable victory. But just as the finishing line was near, Shenwari got out trying to hit the 4th six off Majid Haq to complete his 100. A dejected looking Shenwari watched the proceedings with his head in his hands.

The finish came in dramatic style with Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan trying to stay alive and score runs at the same time. Iain Wardlaw who was expensive got the green signal to bowl the last over and Shapoor Zadran hit him for a boundary to take Afghanistan to their first ever World cup victory in their debut tournament. Afghanistan won the match by 1 wicket in hand and 3 balls to go. Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said,” We knew what to expect. We knew if we were patient we can take a couple of wickets and get more. We had them seven down, but we couldn’t do it. Obviously we were trying to take wickets the whole time. Those 8, 9, 10, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”  The Afghan captain Mohd. Nabi was elated and said.” The pressure was great. The boys didnt’ bat well, four five wickets early but Sami [Shenwari] played very well. Good learning experience about handling the pressure and for our upcoming games, it’s good as well. Putting two points on the board. Hope we win more games, everyone would have enjoyed this game. It’s out first win in the World Cup. We’ve had good support here and also back home.”

Samiullah Shenwari got the Man of the match for his truly wonderful innings of 96 off 147 balls.

Brief Scores:
Scotland 210 (M Machan 31, M Haq 31; S Zadran 4/38)lost to Afghanistan 211/9 49.3 overs (S Shenwari 96, J Ahmadi 51; R Berrington 4/40) by 1 wicket.