Home > News >

Afghanistan vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2014 Preview: Afghanistan take on Asian giants Pakistan

Afghanistan have been in good form in recent times © Getty Images
Afghanistan have been in good form in recent times © Getty Images

Fatullah: Feb 26, 2014

It would be a trial by fire for Afghanistan when the gutsy team from the strife-torn country makes its Asia Cup debut by taking on defending champions Pakistan on Thursday.

Mohammad Nabi‘s Afghanistan came into the Asia Cup after it qualified for the 50-over ICC World Cup 2015 scheduled next year.

And they would look to make a good impression in front of their four sub-continental neighbours, namely India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The interest that they have managed to generate by their presence notwithstanding, Afghanistan are not expected to go too far in the tournament given that they have played just two one-dayers against Test nations, losing both matches to Pakistan and Australia.

That exposure also came way back in 2012 and it would be interesting to see how the minnows have grown since then.

What would count in their favour in the Asia Cup is the team’s firm understanding of the local conditions given that eight from the current squad have participated in various domestic competitions here including the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

“Rahmat Shah, Azghar [Stanikzai], Gulbadin Naib, [Mohammad] Shahzad, Shapoor [Zadran], maybe half the team has played in Bangladesh and this is a good experience for them and for Afghanistan,” said Nabi, himself a regular at the Twenty20 (T20) event.

“We will try our best against every team. There is no target. We will play good cricket and when the time comes we will win,” he added.

Whatever the end result, Afghanistan are expected to put their best foot forward on the field, making them exciting prospects at the regional mega-event.

Pakistan, on the other hand, would have to quickly shake off the disappointment of losing their tournament-opener against Sri Lanka.

The temperamental side was done in by speedster Lasith Malinga’s brilliant five-wicket haul under pressure and opener Lahiru Thirimanne’s second One-Day International (ODI) century as it lost by 12 runs while chasing 297 last night.

Barring Umar Akmal (73) and skipper Misbah-ul Haq (74), none of the Pakistani batsman managed to produce innings of substance as the team crumbled despite having a fair shot at victory.

The botched chase would have to be erased from the memory pretty quickly for the Pakistanis, who would do well not to underestimate the gritty Afghans.

One of the big concerns to emerge for Pakistan in the match was bowling at the start of the innings which allowed Sri Lanka to settle down.

“I think at the start we bowled too many bad balls, or boundary balls. If we had bowled a little better then, the 10-15 run margin that decided the game, I think we could have done better,” Misbah conceded after the loss on Tuesday.

Given Pakistan’s reputation of being unpredictable and Afghanistan’s much-appreciated stomach for fight, an interesting contest seems on the cards on Tursday.

Squads:

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Talha.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (c), Naowroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Fazal Niazai, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq, Mirwaiz Ashraf, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran.

Time: 8:00 GMT I 13:30 IST

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

WICB seek meeting with BCCI to minimise damage

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy Semi-Final, Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Boyfriend Vs. Parents — Call In The Referee ‘Paging Pri’

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Drink ginger tea to relieve a migraine naturally

Allocate spectrum to telcos within 90 days after payment: Panel

How BMI and BMR play a role in weight loss

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s double standards; Puneet Issar’s aggressive avatar

Box Cricket League 2014: All you need to know about the sports reality show

Indian Painting Exhibit Kicks off at Quebec City

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here