Afghanistan caused the biggest upset of the Asia Cup 2014 when they beat hosts Bangladesh © Getty Images
Fatullah: Mar 1, 2014
Elated after his side scored an upset win over Bangladesh in their Asia Cup 2014 match on Saturday, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi credited the whole team for the landmark victory.
“Our first win against a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Fans and the whole country must be celebrating and we’ll try to do even better in the coming matches,” Nabi, who also played a big role in the victory by taking three Bangladeshi wickets, said after his side’s 32-run victory.
Saturday’s win by Afghanistan was their first against a Test-playing nation and the best performance in their cricket history.
“Our fans have always prayed for us and they love us so I’d like to thank them,” Nabi said.
He praised the duo of Asghar Stanikzai (90 not-out) and Samiullah Shenwari (81) who stitched 164 for the sixth wicket to rescue Afghanistan from a precarious position to take them to 254 for six in their innings.
“Bangladesh bowled very well till 25th over, and the last partnership [between Stanikzai and Shenwari] was brilliant. It was a good partnership. We scored 107 runs in the last 10 overs,” said the off-spinning all-rounder.
“Our boys bowled brilliantly in the first few overs [of Bangladesh run chase] and fielded well. We missed some catches towards the end and so we were under a bit of pressure. But we pulled it off finally.”
Man-of-the-Match Shenwari also credited the win to team effort.
“It was a team effort, from the coach, manager and everyone. We wanted to bat till 50 overs and I did. 150 was the big partnership, our plan was to just stay at the wicket and when we took 107 runs from the last 10 overs, that was the main point,” he said.
“I have learnt leg-spin from the beginning and have been working hard with the coaches.”
A disappointed Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim conceded that his side were outplayed in all the three departments of the game.
“We were outplayed in all three departments. We played well in the first 30 overs [of Afghanistan innings] but they did well thereafter, especially in the slog overs. They batted very well and did not gave us any chance and we were one bowler short,” Rahim said.
“254 was chasable, we could have batted better but they bowled well too. Our bowling was OK, but they batted really well in the end.”
He said that Bangladesh was also under pressure in the absence of senior players Shakib-ul-Hassan and Tamim Iqbal.
“Shakib and Tamim were not there so there was a lot of pressure. I tried to bat well but I got out cheaply. Hard luck to the boys. It’s hard to believe that we disappointed the fans but we’d want to improve in the remaining matches.”