Afghanistan v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah

Afghanistan aim to further Pakistan problems

The Preview by Alagappan Muthu

February 26, 2014

Comments: 149 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Thursday, February 27
Start time 1400 local (0800 GMT)


Saeed Ajmal celebrates the wicket of Quinton de Kock, Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd T20I, Dubai, November 15, 2013
Saeed Ajmal's skill at extracting turn from unresponsive surfaces could pose Afghanistan their biggest threat © Associated Press
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Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup

Big picture

Afghanistan could not have asked for better circumstances to make their Asia Cup debut: a benign pitch to stymie Pakistan's potent seam attack coupled with batsmen who fizzle out at all the wrong times. As much as Afghanistan hope to simply enjoy the occasion, the possibility of kicking off their campaign by downing a Test nation would be hard to ignore.

Profitable outings for six of the squad members in the Bangladesh domestic circuit will aid in assessing conditions. Mohammad Nabi, the captain, collected 223 runs in five Dhaka Premier Division matches. He knows he has the personnel to supply quick runs - Mohammad Shahzad is a firecracker in the top order - but it will be interesting to see if they can harness their natural instincts appropriately.

The only time these two teams had met, four Afghanistan batsmen managed good starts but could not capitalise. Building an innings and reading the game and responding to it are nuances the major teams do better to quell the promise of the Associates.

Another foreboding gleaning from that game was their struggle against spin. Saeed Ajmal proved his trickery does not require a friendly pitch in the Asia Cup opener and, though, he is yet to open his tally against Afghanistan, one feels from his performance, it is only a matter of time.

Pakistan's pressing concern would be in ridding the inadequacies of their batting order. Most of the top-order batsmen seem content with eye-catching cameos. Shahid Afridi continues to play with disastrous abandon. Umar Akmal justified his potential for 71 balls until he played a horror of a shot to allow Sri Lanka to sneak into the game. The best motivator against such mistakes, however, might be that they would draw a greater scrutiny against a lesser opposition.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Pakistan LLWWL
Afghanistan WWWWL

In the spotlight

Afghanistan will look to Nawroz Mangal to deliver stability to their batting. He has been undefeated all four times he has crossed fifty and all of them have been match-winning efforts. He has scored one of the seven one-day hundreds made by Afghanistan batsmen.

Ahmed Shehzad's tendency to begin slowly has attracted some criticism but he possesses such good timing that hiking the pace of his innings would not be too much bother. If he could tick the score along with a few more regular singles, Pakistan's top-order batting could well regain their menace.

Team news

Pakistan cannot afford to suffer a second defeat in a row and might enlist the services of Anwar Ali, an effective all-round talent who has already had experience reversing a batting collapse.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Sharjeel Khan, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Sohaib Maqsood, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt.), 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Bilawal Bhatti/Anwar Ali, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan.

Afghanistan preferred to employ horses for courses and would pick their XI on the morning of the game.

Afghanistan (probable) 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Nawroz Mangal, 3 Asghat Stanikzai, 4 Mohammad Nabi, 5 Noor Ali Zadran, 6 Karim Sadiq, 7 Shapoor Zadran, 8 Hamid Hassan, 9 Samiullah Shenwari, 10 Rahmat Shah, 11 Hamza Hotak

Pitch and conditions

Fatullah has offered very little signs of encouragement to the bowlers so far in the tournament and that trend is likely to continue. Dew might make a difference in the second half of the day as some appeared on Wednesday night.

Stats and trivia

  • Mohammad Shahzad accounts for three of the seven ODI centuries by Afghanistan and holds the record with 118 against Canada.

  • Misbah-ul-Haq has struck four fifties in the last seven matches, all of which Pakistan ended up losing

Quotes

"There is no target. We will play good cricket and when the time comes we will win."
Mohammad Nabi is not fussed about his team making its Asia Cup debut

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

90/4 . well done Afgan! You can do that!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

@Abdullah Sajid. Similarly I can say pray to your shed for good sense!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

cmon guys keep ur focus on Pak vs Afghanistan. wait till Sunday for the big match. Then whoever wins can come out all guns blazing. I expect Pakistan to easily win today and Anwer Ali should be promoted ahead of Afridi. Target should at least be 300

Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (February 27, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

Where is the best bowler in the world Hamid Hasan. Cant believe he is not playing, very poor from Afghanistan.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

@GRVJPR. Be cool or prey ur statues or have a bath in ganga or what ever the hell May god give u some sense

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

I hope that Afghanistan will give real entertainment in the Asia cup

Posted by GRVJPR on (February 27, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

@ Abdullah Sajid, You remind us when you won last test overseas. I enjoyed ZIMBABWE hammering Pakistan in test series

Posted by mzm149 on (February 27, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

Equine Anwar Ali is back. God save Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

I disagree with Ahmed Jan here. This has nothing to do with playng in IPL or not. The Pakistani team is psychologically weak, at least that is what it looks like . The batsmen lose their cool under pressure and play unreliable shots.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

Please don't start India Pakistan conversation. I am fed up of these useless conversations. Today keep in mind that match is bw Pak and Afg. Cricket is not game anymore but politics but interestingly cricket fans are also big politicians.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

@Kamran Farid., @Abdullah Sajid Who won the U19 WC last time? Where was it? Where was 1st T20WC played which India won. And where was last CT13 played? All world know what happened to Pak in that series. What about your ZIM tour where you lost a test and levelled by ZIM? You lost ODIs in ZIM and Ireland got you in a tie, right? SO, you too have weakness. Do not act like world beaters!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:45 GMT)

@fast-track. In2010 pakistan wo n series by 3-2in new zeland. While had a clean sweep from nz.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

struggling pakistan? they won their last 2 series.. scored 284 in their last game.. how are they struggling?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

It could be one sided match. Usually, Pak always comes back strongly after loosing first match in any tournament. I believe despite of their come back, Ind V/S Sri will be the final match of this years Asia cup.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 27, 2014, 7:43 GMT)

@ Vicky Yaar "not less than Kohli" Well easy way to find out is, Pick all the matches Virat has played outside India and pick all the matches of Umar akmal. Then see who has a better record. FYI, I have listened to many interviews by Youuf youhana, INZI Sir, and other greats who categorically say that wickets in UAE are identical to wickets in PAK. And they suit PAK the most.

Posted by Samee0324 on (February 27, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

Pakistan will win this match and will win all rest of the matches!! i dont want to compare PAK with India who cannot win any match outside their back yard!!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 27, 2014, 7:34 GMT)

Realistically I don't expect any upsets today. pak should win comfortably but i expect afghans to put up some fight. Good luck to both teams

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

If Pakistani Players got chance to play in IPL, if they have Home Series in Pakistan, then you will see the difference. PCB is also creating problems for our cricketers and still under such stress conditions they produces good cricket. Beating SA in SA is not thing to ignore. India having alot of cricket in IPL. Thier players r mature enough. But when they go on away tours they lost even to NZ. Just enjoy cricket and cheer for players from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Afghanistan. Moreover, Pakistan U19 is in final of U19 WC with SA. So its pakistan who is represting Asia in the WC Final not India or SL.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

@francis . Plaese can u remind me when india won last test overseas

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

yes Mr. Francis Meal, like u r sitting out in the u19 world cup?.... even minnow beat in the one game show... if u really want to see the potential play series... u cant will outside india... and even in india u lost last series... shame... at least pak and srilanka do not lost series. like that to 8th rank team... we must fight... check history

Posted by Asia_Cricket on (February 27, 2014, 7:28 GMT)

Pakistan will win for sure. But hope good game from Afg too. All the best for both teams from Sri Lankan.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 7:23 GMT)

@Rashid Hussain. First ask your fellow Pak fans like Solid_Snake, Albert_cambell etc to stop that. @Vicky Yaar . Ok, it was Ireland again in your last tour. Was it a tie? and a 2 wicket win over Ireland! Pakistan too got thrashed by BD, isn't it? Which are the major teams that lost to Ireland? Pakistan has a history of loosing to newbies in world cricket. yes, they can upset India, but only once in every 10-15 matches like BD did!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

@ Posted by Francis Mel on (February 27, 2014, 6:52 GMT): Ofcourse playing in UAE is equal to playing abroad for Pakistan or anyone else. Because we are not playing in front of our mighty crowds which matters a lot. Our new comers are not making their debuts on pitches where they have played whole their domestic cricket. Do you know Umer Akmal, a renowned name in world cricket now has never played any int'l match in pakistan till now?? Consider if he would be playing half of their matches in Lahore, karachi, faisalabad or multan where his personal records would be today. He would not be any less than kohli etc.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:14 GMT)

@Hassan Ali: Who have been coaching your team for the last 10 to 15 years? All foreigners. Las! it is not about who is coaching who but the talent to be nurtured and given time to flourish. It's true that Pakistan has more experience in cricket than Afghanistan but im afraid that's not the case in terms of talent and passion for the game. We're not behind anyone when it comes to that. All we need is a little more exposure and time to play against big sides. We are already winning games from test nations in U-19 cricket. Soon will the day come in first class. Remember! last time when we played a T20 match with Pakistan. It was almost in our hands but lucky didnt prevail. That shows our talent and commitment and very soon that will translate into VICTORY, In Sha Allah.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

KamranFarid. How many times have you beat India in major Tournaments. We dont mind losing to NZ as long we have the joy of throwing you out of major tournaments.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

@lakpj. Your SL team puts people to sleep. You guys play the most boring and negative form of cricket. Your gentlemen cricketer Sanga appeals so confidently by throwing the ball up in the air, everytime the bat comes close to the ball. You talk about making finals? Nobody remembers losers and thats why you had to remind us. If your team had the class and courage to win then you would have won. And if you want to value performance over results then take a look at the way India competed in the away games. SA is the worlds top side and this is probably the best NZ of all time. Sure India loses but we also make up by winning big. No guts no glory. India will destroy Sri Lanka in any series because your team looks nervous and afraid. If Pakistan didnt self destruct you would have lost the opener to them as well.

Posted by nokhaiz on (February 27, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

Well, Listen guys.....Pak gona rock in this Asia cup, it is the only well balanced team amongst all 5. what they need to do is to just play sensibly and they are un matchable. Best of luck team pakistan, we love you!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

Afgan should bat first so Pak can chase a small score and win, so the match will over in quick time, nothing against Afgan, just been honest. dont think either Ban or Afgan cab upset Big 3 in Asia

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

Come on Afghanistan!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:58 GMT)

Waqs77. The ICC rankings speak for themselves. If Pakistan has been winning everything, why isnt it showing in the rankings?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

This could be the closest match in the Tournament if Pakistan will be chasing 250+

Posted by HiyerNHiyer on (February 27, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

To all my fellow Indian Team supporters,

Lets support this young team and I am sure that they will come good. Lets not react to unnecessary criticism from others. We have traditionally been appreciative of our opponents and applauded them as well so lets keep that up. To all my fellow human beings who think India has not contributed enough.. India doesn't need to prove anything. ODI World Cup (Twice), T20 World Cup, ICC Champion Trophy, Benson and Hedges World Cup, CB Series and Test and ODI number Ones is enough to start with. India gave you T20 leagues when it started IPL and everyone followed. Yes we are Leaders and a Financial Powerhouse and I am proud of it. BCCI had the guts to break the ECB and ACB monopoly..Did any other board have that guts and Yes, we also played a huge role in readmission of CSA and BD getting Test status.. Pls Wake UP

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

@Imran Jan. When you say Pakistan is winning abroad, are you talking about UAE?

Posted by Emes_Safi on (February 27, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

@ Hassan Ali Anyone can be Khan but no one can be Afghan!! We don't have the habbit of Calling selfmade celebrities our nation but we have the habbit of becoming CELEBRITIES !!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

I wonder what happend to SL fans suddenly against pakistan, why? you were the ones who backed out of the group and accepted big 3 it should have been us against you, or is it the uae tour? do you think that pak should have let you win the series all 3? if you think yes than you are insulting SL team becoz it makes us think that you couldnt win on your own, and it is right becoz you are supporting BD because they lost all your matches to you. you and india were the ones who lost to BD last asia cup and bashing pakistan? its ok to lose from a team equal to you or better than you but is it ok to lose from team like BD. we are still being criticized for losing to ireland what about you huh?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

@ Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 6:11 GMT): You always lack in cricket knowledge. When on earth scotland beaten pakistan??? Ireland beaten once in history. But India got thrashed by B'desh on several occasions. And if Afganistan can beat pak.... they can beat india as well. @ Posted by SLslider on (February 27, 2014, 6:06 GMT): LOL at your dream positions alloted to all teams. I don't know why other countries hate pakistan team so much. Is it the fear or what?? We pakistani never put un realistic comments like india or SL will be no. 5 among 5 asian teams.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully

I always see negative comments from you about Pakistan, senseless criticism. Why don't we just wait till our encounter on March 2nd? I know that it will not be a one sided thrashing to any team but still if India wins you will have the right to speak up and criticize Pakistan but if you lose please shut your mouth or at least think twice before criticizing Pakistan again.

Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by keralite on (February 27, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

A strong Afghan performance will be a boost for Cricket as a whole. Although I don't think Afghanistan will win(batsmen have don't seem to have the patience) I am sure we wil see a very spirited performance from them. All the best to boys in blue.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

@ SLslider. lol . Yesterday you and your fellow SL fans placed India @ 5th. But At the end of the series, SL will be @ 4 or 5. Do you remember last Asiacup in which you got humiliated by all teams? @Solid_Snake. It is the evenly matched content you mentioned yesterday. But still Afgan got upper hand and they will thrash your mediocre team. @Imran Jan. Can you mention any other Asian team which regularly bowled out under 200 or unable to chase and 250 score?

Posted by HiyerNHiyer on (February 27, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

From an Indian cricket fan.. To the BD supporters.. I saw a lot of Indian supporters praise Mushfiqs 100 including the commentators.No Offense but it was Mash Mortaza whose "if BD defeat India it will not be an upset" comment which was pompous. Even Viru had stated that BD is a good One day side .. prior to thethrashing India gave BD in WC. BD may be a good one day side but they need to perform consistently.

As regards todays match, I feel that Pak should win this comfortably but expect the Afghan team to put a good fight not only against Pak but also Ind and SL. I think if Pak has to win this Asia cup, Shahid Afridi, Hafeez and Misbah will have to play crucial roles.

Lastly, to all India haters, pls remember... BCCI is not India and vice versa.. Yes Indian cricketers make good amounts of money but that doesn't make them Bad Human beings. Also, we never had really quick fast bowlers, so what... India is going through a rebuilding phase and hopefully it will be good in the long run.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

Pakistan is playing abroad and winning series. Can anyone tell which of the test playing Asian nation is achieving this, other than them?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

@Mohammad Haroon Arghandiwal: first they are not afghans they are khans, if you consider them afghan no wonder you will claim Shahrukh Khan Salman Khan and Amir Khan to be afghans too, 2nd thing first coach you got was Pakistani i dont know about now, come to pakistan and try to beat Lahore lions and see your strength, and saying of end of cricket in Pakistan first you need to start cricket i Afg.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

If Ireland and Scotland can beat Pak, then why not Afgan? They can thrash Pak for sure. @ i_amVIVA. First educate own team and crowd how to appreciate opposition when they score 100. Or learn from Indians who appreciated your captain for his 100. Do not try to hide your unprofessional approach!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

Give us a nail-biting finish mates! :)

Posted by godshand on (February 27, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

For the biased SL fans - True that Indians need to be consistently well abroad as well, we are sure this will happen soon and the phony critics will get smacked by our batsmen.

Coming to the blunders of SL team - which team has max num of chuckers - starting from the mid 80s, please go and check the records. And as far as sportsman spirit is concerned, Kulashekra's reluctance in last WC final gives an indication the honesty of SL players.

Posted by SLslider on (February 27, 2014, 6:06 GMT)

I don't think PAK has any chance against Afgan, All Afghan has to do is to score 180 to 200. PAK will collapse like they always do. SL will win this tournament easily. 1 SL, 2. BAN, 3. IND, 4 Afghan, 5 PAK.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (February 27, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

@ Dishant Bhatt Its actually a good thing. This is one of the reason why Indian team is followed all around the and makes more money. But I don't like when they do charity during IPL and buy some mediocre players to warm the bench. Good that they learnt the lesson this time and didn't buy waterboys.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

Whatever you guys may argue upon. Whatever yous guys may think. Whichever team you guys support. Everyone knows that India is a better team among the contenders. Tell me if I m wrong.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 27, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

@ Mohammad Haroon Arghandiwal:lol ..You people lived & still living in our country,started playing cricket here..We pak provided you with all the training,coaches,grounds..In the end this is what we get for such generosity.. Let's see what Afghan team can do in this tournament.Today you will learn who's the boss around here & where does Afghanistan stand.. & btw i am from Peshawar & i personally know some of the Afghan players who used to play here.Fans like you made me comment like that.You are just destrying the image of your own country with such posts.Though i still have a great respect for Afghan team..

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

Pakistan????

Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (February 27, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

Afghanistan will not improve unless they play regular tests against top oppositions.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

I am really surprised by the venom SL fans hold against our Indian team! even on Afghan thread they are continuing. Grow up guys! And I agree our test record away has been poor in recent past but still your "great" team loses against our bad team convincingly!

Posted by Waqs77 on (February 27, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

@ Posted by Mohammad Haroon Arghandiwal on (February 27, 2014, 4:31 GMT)....Crazy comment i must say. Why u forgot wasim akram, inzamam, javed miandad, mohamed yousuf to include in afghans. A big LOL at ur funny coment. You are new to cricket and yet to prove ur worth on grounds. Don't jump as of now. You are talking about a team who has been world champion, t20 champion (in last 4 years FYI), 2 times asian champions, whitewashed world no. 1 ranked england, beaten south africa in south africa to become first asain to do so (which ur indian thunders couldn't do yet), beaten ur indian thunders in their home last year this all happend in last 2-3 years. So compare ur self with ireland, netherland, zimbabwe or maximum bangladesh. Thats where u stand now

Posted by sundersingh on (February 27, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

@Lakpj atleast we r playing test in 4 r 5 matches, u guys not able to play 4 r 5 tests due to poverty of ur cricket board LOL... make guts and play tests on foreign condition... after sanga and mahela u will be thrashed by all the minnows... watch out...

Posted by i_amVIVA on (February 27, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

Hope Kabuleewala Afg can make some noise against mighty paki. As Ind won against bang, it is only kholi century and praise all over the site; Barely any Indian supporter cared for citing or recognizing the fine knock from the other captain, who also scored a century first, against a relatively stronger opponent, with similar strike rates. Such un-sportsmanship behavior by this crowd may not be unexpected, as their team is routinely drubbed every now and then by this so called minnow neighbor. But the heartbreak is when Cricinfo itself portrays the same double standard against the fine host along with her captain, who were by no means any easy push over in the game, despite their key players being absent from the game. And that's no fair.

Posted by sundersingh on (February 27, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

Pakistan will win it with huge margin.....

Posted by Rajiv007 on (February 27, 2014, 5:08 GMT)

Go Afgans Go...love from India

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 5:00 GMT)

@muhammad haroon u thnk pak will be out of crkt the way they are playing ..... plz tell me more jokes man Because do u know who was highest run getter in 2013 ... he was misbah highest wicket taker was saeed ajmal highest no. of centuries scored were by hafeez pak won 7 odi series in 2013 be realistic man

Posted by Lakpj on (February 27, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

@wapuser 4 World cup finals in 5 years and you say SL had failed in big tournaments. where have you been mate? At least SL and Pak haven't lost 8-0 like your team did in 2011. You might win some matches in sub-continent but another 9-0 is on the cards in the next few months when you go to England and Australia. keep counting mate.. lolzz.

Posted by bouncer709 on (February 27, 2014, 4:56 GMT)

@ Mohammad Haroon Arghandiwal :Come on! you Afghans know cricket because of Pakistan, and learned it staying here. Winning against associate team doesn't mean you are capable to win any where. any local Pakistan club team can beat your baby team. and yes if you want to know the progress in Pakistan cricket, so see Pakistan U19 in WC Semifinal. This U19 team can beat your team too. Wish Afghan team good luck.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:53 GMT)

Mr.Gurave... we have just witnessed that how your great indian team bites the dust from 8th ranked team...and its a shame to not even won a single game.... your indian team won their 1st away test after 30 years of independance and your are performing same till now... but pakistan team won their first away test match in their first england tour in1953.... and we just beat you at your home soil a year ago.... you people cqn win a series against... i bet u..

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:52 GMT)

I hope for Afghanistan to win their first game against full members if ICC.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

Goid luck both teams.specially Afghanistan

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:44 GMT)

I can perceive that this tournament is over for Pakistan and Banlgladesh. They don't seem to be making it to the finals this time around. Having lost to Sri Lanka, now pakistan have to win all the remaining matches including one against India. They can beat Afghanistan and Bangladesh with narrow margin of victory (lolssss), but they are certainly gonna lose against India. In all likelihood, it is going to be India Vs Sri Lanka in the final.

Posted by sanap on (February 27, 2014, 4:41 GMT)

will be a good match ....at the end pak will win convincegly ....pak should bowl first and try to restrict afghans under 150 and then play all the 50 overs to get match practice

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:40 GMT)

Best of Luck Afghan heroes...

Posted by schathuranga on (February 27, 2014, 4:35 GMT)

We are not crazy like others.But this trophy belong to sri lanka..!!Good luck afghanistan..!!!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

@ Abir, dont be so optimistic because Afghans are in 2015 WC and hopefully Pakistan will be out of cricket the way they are playing. Check the last four years how much Afghans progressed and how much you guys lose. You lost to Srilankan the first match and dont consider that you will beat Indian Thunders and Bangladish also shows you a tough lesson. If you have ever won any match till now all are because of Afghans such as Imran khan, Shahid Afridi, Younus Khan, Umar Gul and few more...

Posted by westindiesupporter on (February 27, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

C'mon Afghanistan win the asia cup. My second favourite team after West Indies.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (February 27, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Afghanistan is a good team but I cant see them standing a chance against the best team in subcontinent Pakistan. They will fancy their chances against same strength sides like India, Bangladesh. As a neutral fan I really wish Afghanistan beats all 4 subcontinent tomorrow. I will be cheering for Afghanistan throughout the whole tour. Best of luck to them from this Saffa.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:26 GMT)

Although Indian bowling is very weak, but they might be able to get some wickets against Aghanistan. I don't think India can match the class of Srilankan batsmen. And Srilankan bowling is also stronger. And without Dhoni and Raina they might not be able to fix stuff either

Posted by K_M_Iqbal on (February 27, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

We pray for Afghan team

Posted by wapuser on (February 27, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

You Lankan fans will never accept that your team is nothing but a bunch of overrated players who have failed miserably in big tournaments. You guys are chokers when it comes to big matches and a win against another overrated team, pakiz, does not prove your worth. The great Indian team will win this cup hand down and make the others bite the dust.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 4:02 GMT)

HI, Nothing is impossible and more specifically against pakistan as they have shown how badly they can collapse in some cases, sure not having higher hopes for Asia Cup but providing our best is the nature of Afghan Players, GO AFGHANISTAN GOOOOOOOOOOO

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 3:57 GMT)

i wanna see Afghan beat pak...power must be unleashed by Afghan brothers,pak must not take them lightly that they are minnows..they may be new but they are learning and it will be take time.Good Luck Afghanistan

Posted by Kelum_w on (February 27, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

It's great to see Afghanistan playing international cricket, that is an achievement in itself considering the country's recent turbulent past. They will get the opportunity to play against some of the best international cricketers and this will be great experience for the squad. Good stuff guys.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 3:20 GMT)

Our batting is hopelessly fragile. Even minnows like Afghanistan have a chance at bowling us out if our top order fails which happens quite often. Please add Fawad Alam instead of Sharjeel, he is the sort of a player to build an innings. Most of our batsmen are either fire a few sixes or get out. We need a Misbah type player to build an innings.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 3:11 GMT)

It should be a walk in the park for Pakistan!

Posted by shrinaresh_s on (February 27, 2014, 2:54 GMT)

Sort of a pitch and opposition for an Afridi five-for.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

we trust on allah that our national heros will win this from battle best of luck to them

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 2:24 GMT)

This competition will teach our Afghan team lots of things by playing four big teams with having different game approaches. It is hard to say we win tomorrow but if Pakistan have another bad day and we play with calm and composure rather than being irresponsible then we will pull a big upset. But if you ask me who we have chance to win against will be one of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India and Pakistan are having massive quality players and we can only expect a good game against them. Good Luck Afghanistan

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 2:01 GMT)

its funny that afghans say that they will defeated pak

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

afghanistan is going to loose today but they will win all rest of matches. u all will c.

Posted by Oracle_Magus on (February 27, 2014, 1:37 GMT)

Though Pakistan is the favourite for this match, let us hope that Afghans give them a good fight. Cricket is fun only when we have an exciting match. Yesterday Bangladesh surrendered meekly. But without Shaqib that was only to be expected. Let hope that Afghans fight it till the very end. All the best to both teams. Cheers

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 1:34 GMT)

@viru-319-219 lol afridi will be a liability no matter where u play 'em. any ways i agree opening with afridi is still a better option than banking on him to finish at the end which he denies to do so straight away.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 1:28 GMT)

well come afghanistan. good luck for your first match.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 1:25 GMT)

@wapuser you are really one of a kind. which country are you from exactly? ;)

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 0:52 GMT)

Hi Afghans lost & win is name of the game please don't be too exciting we can not compare Afghanistan with cricket nation whom has 100 plus years cricket history we just should be proved of our guys which they made them salves in this stage. with out any adequate facilities don't forget 10 years ago even they had no a single bat to bat with they were plying with a ordinary tree branch now playing cricket against a very experience opposition therefore we should not expect them to win a single game in this tournament but this will be a very good experiences for them and they can learn much more from this tour best of luck

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 0:19 GMT)

This game will be an intresting game! looking forward to watch it. Goodluck Afghanistan cricket team.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2014, 0:01 GMT)

@Abir Rahman- 4 is a typo, isn't it? I think you meant big 3

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 23:00 GMT)

it's cricket its more likely that one side lose I first hope that Afghanistan win insalllah if not it's not end of the world we still learning as far we don't lose badly and play and not make it easier for pakistan that would do me..good luck Afghanistan ,I wish if i could watch the whole game..

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

Question : Who will win Today ? Pakistan Or Afghanistan.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:41 GMT)

its really hard to beat pakistan in ODI ,afghanistan is not still that strong ,but hope they improve nad learn from this big matches,the matter of t20 is differant afghanistan can beat any team,in t20, good luck we will see the match in shah allah

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Looking forward to the India versus Pakistan match!! Hoping it is played on the border between the two countries....

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:15 GMT)

pakistan will hit back..just wait and watch

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

haahahh afg jst born 5 years a go Pakistan wel smash afg in shah allah

Posted by t20cric on (February 26, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

Although Afghanistan are the underdog in this tournament Pakistan still have to take everyone seriously. After losing the 1st match they need to win every single match (& hope the result of other matches favours them) in order to get to the final. For their next 3 matches they need to have a good strategy & go in their with a positive mind. They need to know that just showing up to the matches against BD & Afg will not give them the win only cuz these 2 are minnows. Then they also don't have to be intimidated by India for no apparent reason (Pakistan often lose to India cuz of a physiological disadvantage more than anything else) & play positive cricket. Pakistan have to let Fawad into the playing 11, move Umar Akmal up the order & let a real finisher finish the innings (some have suggested letting Sohaib finish). They need to let Junaid & Gul use the new ball so that they can get 2-3 wickets in the 1st 10 overs. Our openers need to bat well too & be between 30/0 & 50/0 after 10 overs.

Posted by 4Loveof_cricket on (February 26, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Best Of Luck Afghanistan!

Posted by t20cric on (February 26, 2014, 21:42 GMT)

As a Pakistani fan I am scared cuz we have lost against minnows before (no offense to Afghanistan). I honestly believe that if Afghanistan have a chance of beating anyone its Bangladesh and Pakistan. Bangladesh cuz they will be without some key players when they play Afghanistan and cuz Bangladesh is the weakest of the big 4 of Asia. Pakistan cuz they are extremely unpredictable and are probably more prone than anyone else to batting collapses. That being said I remember the t20 between Pak and Afg and noticed that all their batsmen tried to hit every ball for 6, as a result they kept losing wickets and ended with an ok score. Pakistan chased that score without ever looking in trouble and never had to take any risks. Seeing how some people say Afghanistan play ODIs like T20s, that would mean they won't do too well. So I would say Pakistan are still favourites to win this match and Insha Allah they will win.

Posted by Aashiyer on (February 26, 2014, 21:19 GMT)

Pakistan shall lose to nabi

Posted by Diamond2017 on (February 26, 2014, 20:57 GMT)

Afghanistan please win this match. We know you can do it, Allah knows who is right and he gives you power. INSHA ALLAH Afghanistan will win!

Posted by 4Loveof_cricket on (February 26, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

I am really happy to see Afghanistan Play in Asia Cup. Winning is as important to Afghanistan as it is for Pakistan. Afghanistan team has the experience to upset any team and move forward. If the game comes to Afghanistan favore they are able to win this match. Lets hope for a good game between these two great Nations.

Posted by wapuser on (February 26, 2014, 20:06 GMT)

I know Afghanistan is going to loose but who cares cuz its just a game but more experiance will be developed from it to Afghanistan's side. I love my Afghans but lets not go high on hopes. Hope to see a close game... fingers crossed... :)

Posted by LionsofLanka on (February 26, 2014, 19:59 GMT)

Tomorrow will be national holiday in Afghanistan. Guess what will be going to happen today at Fatulla? Mohmmad Nabi will be hero after today's game. A debut in Asia with crushing victory. Pak Fans will come down again on earth & that would be beneficial for their cricket.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

It's funny to see afgan fans consider them as a favorite in Asia cup, they think they are better than the big 4 of Asia, it's about time they get a reality check, ICC t20 2014 is the last major tournament they will be featured in because ICC announced all major tournament such as world cup 2015, 2019 and 2023 and also all future t20 world cup will only feature the 10 ICC full members

Posted by AnoMaLy on (February 26, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

Pakistan should win this easily if they can get their basics right.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 19:36 GMT)

Mohamed Shehzad have to play carefully to save his wicket he could be the dangerous man for Pakistan and Shapoor and Dawlat Zadran have also great bowling attack. best of luck blue Tigers (y)

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 19:25 GMT)

Best of luck for afghan brothers. But I think Pakistan bowling will be too good for them. Afghan need time to establish themselves

Posted by Hujatkhan123 on (February 26, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

best of luck afghan tigers..we are very happy to see u in asia cup weather u win or lost you are our stars

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (February 26, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

@Muhammad Aleem Mushtaq, your fear is justified brother. May be we should all learn to take it just as a game and just enjoy the action. I am still learning.

Posted by jafar_majroh on (February 26, 2014, 19:01 GMT)

Good luck afghan tigers, show them the power of afghan

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

On my opinion if Afghans batsmen bat first and scores close to 300 runs then chances are Afghans will be victorious otherwise with 200 something runs may hard to defend against better experienced Pakistani batting lineup than Afghan batters but I hope and wish Afghanistan will register their first international ODI win against ICC full member nation.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 18:48 GMT)

Our team Afghanistan will definitely win the match, Pakistan will struggle with the good bowling attack of afghans as Pak has not good batting side.

Posted by viru-319-219 on (February 26, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

From what I saw of Afghan .. They have a decent bowling lineup and batting capable of scoring 220 - 250. It will be interesting if they bowl first and restrict PAK for under 250. They have a good chance to do that considering how inconsistent Pak batting is.

Pakistan should seriously consider opening with Afridi and use somebody else as finisher. They are losing matches because of Afridi throwing his wicket away. Instead they can open with Afridi and let him play aggresively and have someone like Jamshed along side him to bat through. Umar akmal should bat at 4 atleast. My choice of batting order for Pak would be 1)Afridi 2)Hafeez 3)Shehzad 4)Akmal 5)Misbah 6)Maqsood 7)Bilawal 8)Anwar Ali 9)Gul 10)Ajmal and 11)Junaid

This lineup has 9 players who can bat 4 players who can bowl pace and 3 bowlers who can bowl spin

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

Both teams have equally good bowling attacks, it will be the batting that will decide the match. Honestly, I think Pakistan have a solid batting line-up just the order is messed up. Afridi coming late is always a risk, so why not have him come earlier, and pool the risk later on if he fails. Hafeez and Umar need to switch their places in the order, matches are won in the beginning not end. Also, I would like to give Anwar Ali a chance instead of Bhatti. He won't be any worse in bowling, and is definitely a better batsman. Good luck to both the teams:)

Posted by roook on (February 26, 2014, 18:24 GMT)

It time to give some youngster a chance instead of afridi.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 26, 2014, 18:03 GMT)

It's great to see Afghanistan making strides but they are for now primarily a very good T20 side and continue to play an ODI like a T20 style which won't help their cause. If Pak bats first, I say Afghans put up a great fight but will come bit short in chasing.

Posted by bdsmaruf on (February 26, 2014, 17:52 GMT)

welcome afgan team, wish u good luck.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

i played a lot of these afghan players in hayatabad couple of years earlier,they are good talented,they only need to play positive,and keep in mind that its not a tennis ball cricket.

Posted by P4K1ST4N_7 on (February 26, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

Congratulations to Afghan brothers of Asia cup debut, All the best men in Green Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Posted by afghan_cric_lover on (February 26, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

Inshallah Afghanistan will win the match ,i expect Hamid hassan And shapoor zadran to make problems for pakistansi batsmens

Posted by FSL2013 on (February 26, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

Misbah's strategy to block only works if he finishes the game himself. When he wastes too many deliveries and ends up getting out after making a fifty, it puts pressure on the team and that fifty is of no use to anybody. Need to take a leaf off of Kohli's book.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

is it a joke that malinga is a ordinary bowler,hahahaa he is the the best in the world at the moment

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

inshallah Pak will win the match with many overs to spare

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

Afghanistan's batting order is way off. More likely it will be 1. Noor Ali Zadran 2. Nowraz Mangal 3. Mohammad Shahzad+ 4. Rahmat Shah 5. Mohammad Nabi* 6. Asghar Stanikzai 7. Karim Sadiq 8. Samiullah Shinwari 9. Hamid Hassan 10. Hamza Hotak 11. Shapoor Zadran

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

As a Pakistani fan I always have fear like most Pakistani have when watching Pakistan match. Even we are playing against minnows but still have a same old fear inside my heart. Please tell me, is my fear is wrong or right? Team Pakistan make me wrong.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

it will be amazing to see Afghanistan playing against Pakistan in Asia Cup

Posted by DD_f0rever on (February 26, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

Afg has a good team and can surprise any team.

Last match Pak lost due to pressure,,,,,Malinga is an ordinary bowler,,,it is just that Pak batsmen could not handle the pressure ,,happens,,may be someone like Fawad should be brought in,,whose game is to pick singles and doubles and rotate the strike,,and hit occasional boundary,,he will complement other big hitters well,,,

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:59 GMT)

if pakistan win the toss, they should bowl,, pakistan have best bowling attack and probably the best batting talent their guys posses but four things goes wrong in batting,, 1: wrong batting order (eg: hafeez at 3, akmal at 6, misbah at 5 ) 2: lack finisher (5:misbha 6:akmal 7:shahid 8:bhatti) 3: not giving batters their proper role 4: batters not playing their own game (eg: ahmed akmal hafeez sharjel)

team:

1:ahmed 2:hafeez 3:akmal 4:fawaad 5:misbha 6:sohaib 7:anwar 8:shahid 9:gull 10:ajmal 11:junaid sohaib and anwar can play the finisher role, which pakistan requires the most and akmal can play at 3, so if he plays a rash shot and gets out, their will be good enough players down to finish the game. sohaib is not a 4no player. and in these kind of pitches fawaad alam is 100 times better than sharjeel and in the matches against sri (the last series) sharjeel was getting out early, and hafeez and shezad providing the plot, so they can b good openers, in the absence of steyn

Posted by Zarin_Khan on (February 26, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

The only weak point of the Afghans are the batsmans. So, if the Afghan batters are able to produce, then defeating Pakistan is a realistic imagination!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

hafeez will register 100

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

It's pakistan trick starting the tournment badly and then ended it with great wins On the other hand, pak. U19 will play world cup final and all the big 3's have been knocked out.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:53 GMT)

saying is easier though,pakistan is a better team in any given circumstances. they will have a win tomorrow may not be a cake walk. yea afghanis have are maturing fast as a cricketing nation but still have to undergo lot of such tournaments

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

A Smal leak sink a ship.this is what hapend to pakitan against sl.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

no way that pak is losing tommorow infact afganistan will help our out of form players to get inform the reason why pak lost agsainst SL is that pak hasent played any cricket leading up to this tournament so all the people that are hoping an afghan win will be dissapointed come tommorow afridi will be inform with ball and bat mark my words

Posted by jafar_majroh on (February 26, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

Good luck afghan tigers, show the power afghans

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 26, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Good luck to Afghanistan....playing against one of the best bowling attack will only boost their confidence level...they got nothing to loose only to gain...

Posted by mzm149 on (February 26, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

I am sure Sharjeel Khan will fail against Afghanistan as well. He is just a liability.

Posted by safwan_tauseef on (February 26, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

I am a pakistani fan but there is an extra oridinory strong our afghan brothers who knows how to fight. Pakistan must need to play with fawad Aalam Anwar ali and Talha to replaces witg Sohaib Maqsod Bhatti and junaid khan. Try best to win, good luck pakistan

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

afganistan has quality bowlers. if afg batsmen play smart and dont lose early wickets. they will beat pak with comfort.

Posted by jerryman on (February 26, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Fortune favors the brave. Afghans can go into the match without any pressure as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. However the Pak bowling will be able to check the scoring and Ajmal could be the key in putting the breaks on the Afghans scoring .. Overall Pakistan should be able to win , but being overconfident is not going to help . Will Afridi be able to go Boom boom or will it be another doom doom from him.

Posted by Farhadullah on (February 26, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

INShallah we will win from Pakistan we pray to our team and ALLAH is with them and ALL people of Afghanistan pray fro Afghan team we wish to perform well Inshallah

Posted by Arif.Dost on (February 26, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

Afghanistan will be Play Good Game Against Pakistan . . Afghanistan Team Looks Very Ready For Tomorow Game In Shah allah Afghanistan will Be win . . .

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 15:52 GMT)

Good luck both teams. Specially Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

walk in the park for Pakistanis! being an Indian I hope a upset here! cheers

Posted by Azooz-Afgfan on (February 26, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

It will be a cracker, Afghanistan just need a good start to their batting and the rest will go well .

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

All the best both teams :)

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

Good luck to Afghanistan. they are hard working guys. On paper pakistan is way stronger than these guys. but Pakistan's inconsistency is what matters most. you never know what pakistan will turn up. they can win from almost any time on given day but also can lose from a winning position.

Have to agree with the article, wickets have not much for bowling so its not that difficult for afghanistan to counter pak bowlers.

For Pak, they made a mess of in hand chase other day. sharjeel, Maqsood was also disappointing. Issue with bhatti's bowling as well. He has pace but no control.

Ideally fawad should come in playing 11. they might leave sharjeel out and move hafeez is open. but I think they will go with almost same playing 11 but Anwar Ali will be a better choice than bhatti.

Format means that no more margin of error left. they have to win all remaining games and then hope that things go in their favor when other teams playing. its short event.

Posted by DauD_ on (February 26, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

Afghanistan will win this match... Mark my words.

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Tournament Results
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 8, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Afghanistan v India at Dhaka - Mar 5, 2014
India won by 8 wickets (with 106 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 4, 2014
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 129 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days