‘The way we chased today, was very professional. We have been quality cricket from a couple of years. We will try our best to play positive cricket, and do a lot for our country.’
Afghanistan are out to make it a historic 50-over World Cup in India and their shock eight-wicket victory against former champions Pakistan on Monday reflected that philosophy, skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said.
Shahidi’s men went into the match against 1992 winners Pakistan as the tournament’s bottom team, whose lone triumph in four previous matches was a seismic upset of holders England.
Afghanistan proved that victory was no flash in the pan and pulled off another shock success after their top order fired in a clinical chase against Pakistan.
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi said the win “tastes nice”.
“The way we chased today, was very professional. We have been quality cricket from a couple of years. We will try our best to play positive cricket, and do a lot for our country.
“Today, bowling was very good, especially spin bowling. We gave a chance to Noor, and he showed. The game was in our hands from the beginning till the end.”
“We always had belief and at the start of the tournament I told my team I wanted to make it a historic one for our country and our people,” Shahidi said.
“We did that against England and now today against Pakistan.
“We are looking forward to playing positive cricket in our next games.”
Ibrahim Zadran, who was named Player of the Match for his 87 in Afghanistan’s run chase, said he played with a positive intent.
“Thankful that I performed well in this event. I wanted to play with a positive intent,” he said.
“Many times Gurbaz and I have done a brilliant partnership together. We have played a lot of cricket together, right from the Under-16 days. I am feeling very glad for myself and for my country.”
Former captain and senior player Mohammad Nabi said the win was a big moment for the whole of Afghanistan, having lost every game that they played against the bitter rivals from 2012.
“We have played eight games against Pakistan, and won in a big event. It’s a lovely moment today. We beat England as well, and now Pakistan. The team is confident now.
“(Earlier) in the last moments, we used to lose the game (to Pakistan). We thought it was the same wicket like against New Zealand, but it was totally changed.
“A lot of close games, and this is a fantastic feeling. We shouldn’t have lost against Bangladesh. But now half the tournament is gone.”
- World Cup 2023
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