A Personal record was awaiting Afghanistan and Scotland when they played each other in Group A match today. While Afghanistan, in its first World Cup match, played just its third match, Scotland carried past experience of 2 World Cup editions. Both needed their first ever World Cup win. In the second thrilling match of the World Cup 2015, Afghanistan snatched first win from jaws of third defeat winning by a wicket with just 3 balls remaining. 9th wicket partnership of both teams defined the game. Another match where Associates showed why they are better in World Cups than many test playing nations.
MOM: Samiullah Shenwari
1st world cup match win for Afghanistan.
11th consecutive loss for Scotland in WOrld Cup
1 wicket win is the 5th narrowest win by wickets in a World Cup match.
147 ball-97 runs in 176 minutes by Samiullah Shenwari is the longest innings by an Afghan batsman in international matches.
Scotland bowled out for 210 runs
Afghanistan supported their decision to field as they bowled Scotland for 210 runs. MacLeod (0) in 2nd over was the first wicket to fall to Dawlat Zadran who also had other opener Coetzer (25) in 12th over. Hamid Hasan sent back Gardiner (5 runs in 20 balls) in the 11th over. Machan (31), Captain Mommensen (23), Berrington (25) and wicketkeeper Cross (15) could not contribute much. After Davey (1) fell, Haq (31) and Evans (28) added 62 runs for the 9th wicket. As a result Scotland could reach 210 runs.
Afghan bowlers were in control of the game. Shapoor Zadran (4/38 with a maiden) and Dawlat Zadran (3/29 with a maiden) rocked Scots first. Hamid Hassan (1/32 with a maiden) and Captain Nabi (1/38) also bowled economic 10 overs each. Gulbadin Naib (1/53 in 9 overs) and Javed Ahmad (0/8 in 1) were the only expensive pair.
Afghans Chase 211 Runs
Afghanistan appeared well set for chase when it was the turn of Scot bowlers to show their talent. They had almost brought Scotland to their first historic win in the World Cup after 11 unsuccessful attempts. Afghanistan were staring at 97/7 and then 132/8. But destiny supports those who control the nerves better. Afghans did better than them.
For Afghans, opener Mangal (7), Stanikzai (4) failed again. Opener Javed Ahmadi (run a ball 51 runs) laid the foundation. Samiullah Shenwari watched others departing. Captain Nabi (1), Wicketkeeper Zazai (0), Najibullah Zadran (4), Gulbadin Naib (0) and Dawalat Zadran (9) had left Afghanistan at the door of defeat.
But, Hamid Hasan (39-ball unbeaten 15 runs in 75 minutes) proved to be the saving grace as he joined for 9th wicket partnership that turned the match. 147-balll 96 runs with 7 4s and 5 6s by Samiullah Shenwari made Scotland nervous as he added 60 very valuable runs with Hamid Hassan. But, trying to hit 4th six of the over against Haq he was caught and with just one wicket remaining, Afghanistan still needed 19 runs. Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran (10-ball 12 runs with 2 4s) completed the tough chase with sensible batting as they took Afghanistan to 211/9 with 3 balls remaining.
For Scotland, Davey (2/34 with a maiden) and Evans (2/30 with a maiden) were exceptional. Haq (1/45) and Berrington (4/40) also gave them their chance. But in the end Warlaw (0/61 in 9.3) proved expensive. Overall they failed to control nerves and lost the mind game.
Overall a historical match in the World Cup. IF ICC is watching, they will certainly have a rethink about including Associates in the next World Cup. Afghanistan is sitting on top of Sri Lanka and England in the Points Tally after 3 matches each.