Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah

Cricket will grow even more now - Stanikzai

Mohammad Isam in Fatullah

March 1, 2014

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Asghar Stanikzai flicks one fine, Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah, March 1, 2014
Asghar Stanikzai: "It is a historical win for Afghanistan" © Associated Press
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Afghanistan have reached their greatest triumph in only their fourth game against a Full Member nation, something which they believe is in itself a massive achievement. So much so, that the country's president Hamid Karzai has already made the congratulatory call to the captain Mohammad Nabi.

"Everyone is happy back home," Nabi told ESPNcricinfo. "The president just called us to wish everyone. We are just too happy. The boys played brilliantly. Samiullah and Stanikzai were our winning partnership. They took us out of trouble and gave us a good score to defend."

Asghar Stanikzai, who made an unbeaten 90 to set up the 32-run win over Bangladesh, said that it will have a massive impact back in their homeland.

"It is a historical win for Afghanistan," Stanikzai said. "This is fourth time we played against a big nation. It is a huge achievement because I don't think any Associate member beat a Full Member in their fourth exposure.

"Every single victory counts big back home. It has a huge impact. Cricket will grow even more with this victory. It is a positive advocacy of cricket at home. We have achieved a lot in a short time. This will bring a lot of happiness and prosperity back home. Everyone will be celebrating back home."

Stanikzai described how he planned his innings, a fantastic effort under the circumstances as he and Man of the Match Samiullah Shenwari turned the tide from being down on 90 for 5 in the 27th over. It was a technically brilliant innings, and complemented well with Shenwari's freedom with the bat.

"My main job is to play as long as possible, play the 50 overs. The other batsmen play around me. The situation was not good for us.

"I had to stay and focus on each single ball. I scored 30-odd in 70-plus balls. I know my capability, I can make 70 off 30 balls. I had to take the game till the end and make it a bit longer. It paid off, and we made 100 in the last 10 overs."

When defending the total, Afghanistan attacked Bangladesh in front and then took four wickets in eight balls between the end of the 40th over to the start of the 42nd.

They dropped five catches, four off Nasir Hossain's bat during his 41, and one when Ziaur Rahman made a last-ditch attempt. Stanikzai joked about the catches, the first of which was dropped by him, but admitted that it was indeed a bit of nerves that affected him.

"We didn't want to beat Bangladesh so comprehensively, so we dropped a few catches (smiles)," Stanikzai said. "Jokes apart, it is a history making for every single boy. They are very excited and happy. That might be the case why one or two chances went down."

So how does Afghanistan celebrate? Team manager Shafiqullah Stanikzai said that it is by doing a traditional Pashto dance.

"Normally we celebrate with the Attan," the manager said. "It is our traditional dance and we do it quite a lot. I think Shapoor [Zadran] and [Mohammad] Shahzad are the party-makers for us and they will do the party."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by cricket_lover123 on (March 6, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

I absolutely loved watching Afghanistan play during the Asia Cup 2014 sponsored by Cycle Pure Agarbathies. The only team tat I was looking forward to see how they have improved since they are the latest entrants to Asia Cup. Lets see who takes away the trophy? Will it be Pakistan or Sri Lanka?

Posted by Click_Click_Cricket on (March 2, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

@Trevor Landers - Everyone said the similar thing about ENG when they lost to BD in the WC - 'Oh the ignominy for a woeful ENGLAND side. Well done Bangladesh!'. People say the same WOEFUL things about ENG these days!

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

Oh the ignominy for a woeful Bangladeshi side. Well done Afghanistan!

Posted by frozendilemma on (March 2, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

The idea that Afghanistani players become what they are because of playing in Pakistan is a very flawed idea...If thats really the case then UAE should`ve been the Australia of Cricket because all of their players are from the sub-continent and many of them played first class Cricket in Pakistan,India and Sri Lanka so why are they not so good...Same could be applied to USA,Canada and Hong Kong.USA and Canada even had some West Indian players in their ranks so why aren't they good.The fact of the matter is that the Afghani spirit is just something nobody else has.They manage to keep a smile even though for most of their lives they have only seen a a war torn country.First by the Russians and then by the Americans and who knows who`ll be there next.So Pakistan fans have to stop taking credit where its not due.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

I love <3 Afghanistan

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (March 2, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

If India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka help Afghanistan and Nepal, Asia will become a strong hub for cricket, there will be more competition and it will be good for Cricket. Asia will have 6 good sides. UAE can also become a good side, if they field more locals rather than promoting expatriates in their team.

Posted by AltafPatel on (March 2, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

Moral boosting moments for entire Afghanistan. This will give motivates more Afghans for Cricket and will provide them exposure for other games like Soccer etc as well.

Posted by yohandf on (March 2, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

Congrats to Afghanistan team . As a sri lankan fan i always root underdogs / associates to do well . we saw Zimbabwe entering to test in 90s , Bangladesh in 2000 kenya creating upsets 96 & 2003 WC and Netherland tie England in T20 WC . But all these above mentioned countries disappointed us afterwords . Currently Afghanistan and Ireland are doing really well . I keep Afghanistan behind Ireland for the time being because Ireland was on spotlight from 2009 in international scene and still showing consistency by their stranded . Afghnistan should follow that step . now they are in limelight and tough journey begins , now on you will see oppositions coming hard at you . but believe yourself , you have a journey ahead .

Posted by Rufus_Fuddleduck on (March 2, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

Kudos to Afghanistan. Hardly would any Associate country have climbed up the ladder so speedily. Fans look forward to them being part of the ODI calendar soon. Then Tests in 2-3 years from now? If they make a habit of such fighting performances, it can be envisaged.

Posted by Tmalik on (March 2, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Great Comprehensive victory, they played beautifully both their games so far, giving Pak real threat and then beating BD is just as good it could get for them... i am sure Afhanistan will only go positive from here and become a top cricketing team within 5 years!!! Shahpoor's pace is so impressive, being a fast bowler i love his passion and pace he bowls with, lil bit of Shoaib Akhtar style he need to show lil more agression towards batsmen to get more wickets, he is top class and afghan team is top class, well done cograts from Pakistani who supports Afghans after pakistan... cheers boys, many best wishes.......

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

it hardly matters, in fact not at all that were they learnt their cricket. They are here!! They have arrived.

still thanks to Pakistani cricket infrastructure which in itself is tatters but is still providing for both Pakistan and Afghan cricket. Oh God!! these people should be real reluctant fundamentalist cricket fans!!!

Way to go boys from both countries.

Allah Nigehban Godspeed

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

Afghanistan Bravo!!! Shows a lot of character and resilience of a nation that has only seen turmoil and war!! I a Pakistani am so happy to see my neighbouring brethren perform outstandingly against Pakistan and Bangladesh. This victory will change a lot in Afghanistan!!! B O luck the Afghani Brothers for your bright future as a cricketing nation and as a country!!!

Posted by sherishahmir on (March 2, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

Surprise to c comments on Pakistan over Afghan victory, well fact is most of afghan players have played a lot in Pakistan & raised too in refugee camps in Pak as Afghanistan is suffering from civil war etc for a long. Either they learned their cricket from Pakistani coaches or others doesn't matter, matter how they performed & the way they performed against Pakistan and Bangladesh was simply superb and god thing is that their performance is improving day by day.Being a Pakistani & a fan of good quality cricket,I really appreciate Afghans for the tough fight they given to current champion and runner up teams of Asia cup and also expecting a good show against India and Sri Lanka, simply afghan is a good addition in the Asian and world team. As far as Ireland is concerned they are also a good side as they beaten Pakistan and England in the world cup matches and deserve to play the longer version of cricket if they kept the same higher standards of game.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

Congrats from SL,you'll might even surprise us on monday but dont let success get to to the head,keep on working hard consistently,you'll will definitely reap the benefits in the years to come!

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

I do so hope Afghanistan beat Australia in the World Cup, as it is countries like Australia who are holding back the development of cricket around the globe by denying opportunities to countries such as Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands etc by refusing to play them. It brings so much joy to the people of Afghanistan many of whom have only ever lived whilst war is going on around them, so I will be rooting for Afghanistan to upset Australia, just as they have been upset before by the likes of Zimbabwe

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 4:44 GMT)

Stay focused, never lose your hope and i guarantee your victory against any nation. Congratulations to all Afghans (the war ravaged and so desperate for peace a nation)...Our prayers are always with you!

Posted by thaikkathameed on (March 2, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

Fantastic Afghanistan. Brave hearts keep on playing this way, very soon you will be beating the big teams in international cricket. The determination and will to play for the country is great. Keep it up. Hope to see some players in the IPL teams. They will be big assets for the franchises for sure.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

Couldn't be anymore pleased for Afghanistan and its team. Probably the best cricketing story in international cricket in modern times. Respect from Aust.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 4:05 GMT)

Very happy to see Afghanistan emerge victorious. At one stage it looked as if they would win with a bonus point. So the victory was comprehensive. Lots of positives from this game. Yeah, fielding could have been better but its a very young team and I really hope they keep going forward from here. It is important Afghanistan and Ireland are pitched against Full member countries often.

Posted by Dhali_BD_Fan on (March 2, 2014, 4:04 GMT)

Great job Afganistan - BUT this was not as much a win by them as it was a loss by BD. Yes Afgans did things right and worked very hard and clearly deserves credit, but it was BD that really lost the match. Having took them in a position of dominance and then letting go, and then having nerves coming in to bat at this level is unacceptable. I fully agree that BD should stop playing Test nations and more associates till they build the temperament and mental strength required to perform 'consistently' at this level. One or two wins here and there mean nothing when they fail without a fight consistently.

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 4:04 GMT)

it was indeed a magical win for afghanistan. it was a magical game for the rest of us to watch. being an avid indian cricket team fan , i feel nothing but happiness to see cricket grow amongst countries. Best Wishes - hope to see more of afghanistan!

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 2:45 GMT)

Congrats to Afgan. With this win, they will become the 12th team on the official ICC ODI rankings behind Ireland and will boost Irelands ranking up a bit since Afgan should have played at least eight matches against Ireland and full members over the qualifying period (of which Ireland has won nearly every encounter). Australia and Pakistains rankings should also be marginally increased since they both beat Afgan. Whereas Bang which before Asia Cup was so close to the middle-group will now fall further back (perhaps even low 70s). Lets hope that the ICC goes a step further and opens up two new temp full member status positions with Ireland and Afgan being assigned the positions for the next four years.

Posted by kasyapm on (March 2, 2014, 1:05 GMT)

Congrats from an Indian fan. Hope for many more victories from you guys in the near future. Don't relax - beat one more full-member in this competition (hope its not India) :-) All the best!

Posted by   on (March 2, 2014, 0:51 GMT)

sangeta it does not really matter from who u learning austriala eng sril ind and even pakistan hired coaches from different countries

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 23:36 GMT)

I hope this to be the start of many. We need to improve in catches because we have dropped seven catches and this will cost us against teams like India, Australia and Pakistan. Our batting need improvement if we really want to battle with the best teams. Don't forget we were awful till 35 overs and thankfully Shinwari changed the tempo of the game otherwise this was turning to be our bad day in batting. Afghan government must provide batting coach from either Big teams and give them enough resources so our future players develop competitive

Posted by naimurchowdhury32 on (March 1, 2014, 23:20 GMT)

Fans are getting carried away. Afghanistan Cricket Board is extremely incompetent and doing nothing for the players. They cannot even hire a batting coach or build grounds.

Posted by pitch_fly on (March 1, 2014, 23:04 GMT)

Congrats AFGHAN !!! (A Future Giant Has Arrived Now). The David in each and every one of us rejoices this inconceivable achievement for a country ravaged in war. Their victory celebration gave away as much that their not about to loose perspective in life of whats really important in life. Pashtonishing !!!

Posted by spirit_of_the_game on (March 1, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

Congratulations to my Afghan Brothers. You truly deserved it. Love and Respect from India.

Posted by AbdulMohamad731 on (March 1, 2014, 22:27 GMT)

There is no chance for any growth or improvement as Afghanistan cricket board is not doing anything. Afghanistan will not improve unless they play regular tests against top test nations regularly.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

congratz to afganistan, very well played realy loved their game 2day xcpt their feilding.....apart frm dat dey wer jez to good for bangladesh 2day.

Posted by jiten27 on (March 1, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

congratulation Afghanistan . me from canada, please go for it, when you beat sri lanka and india. I want to see another nation became part of full member. achive your goal.

Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 21:40 GMT)

Hello everyone, first all the credit goes to the boys and not the coach. If coaches win matches then India would be winning non stop. It's the fighting spirit that's floating their boat. The Pakistanis and Bangladeshis complain about not having a good infrastructure. Well afghans don't even have good roads forget about the ground and facilities.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 21:33 GMT)

I think it is matter of nature ... Afghans are naturally blessed with strong physical structure and they are mentally strong being grown up in the battle fields.. They are much tougher with tall bodies and they have the potential to produce world class fast ballers in the near future. The day is not far away when Afghans will be the new legends of the cricket game .. so stop blaming Bangladesh cricket players it is matter of the nature

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 20:55 GMT)

Congrats Afghans! I am very hurt to see that BD lost & but you guys outplayed them in every department. I reckon Afghanistan will soon become a strong powerhouse of the sub-continent!! Zadran is the Afghani Wasim Akram & Mohammad Nabi is a class act!!! Once again! Good luck Afghans

Posted by Varuna-Bhushana on (March 1, 2014, 20:45 GMT)

Greetings from UK. May you beat SL IND and PAK too.

Posted by Speedlord on (March 1, 2014, 20:36 GMT)

Watch out India, with mediocre bowling, mediocre fielding and mediocre batting equates to mediocre Indian team. There could be another upset in the making.

Posted by pinhead9810 on (March 1, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

Congratulations Afgahanistan. I don't consider the win an upset, as Bangladesh haven't really shown any improvements since being a full member. I hope Afghanistan and Ireland continue to improve and become full members. I wish all the best for Afghanistan and Ireland.

Posted by wapuser on (March 1, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

Dear sangeeta, if you think that Afghanistan hired a Pakistani coach and learning cricket to Afghans so your misunderstanding because that coach is Pashtoon/Pathan and he belongs to us, because we are also Pathan so there is no shame in learning.... India also learning cricket from other nation's coach and are so weak in bowling...

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 19:51 GMT)

wow good work boys ...congrats from sri lanka....try to improve middle order batting skills bit and fielding skills..you are far more better than Bangladesh now.try to beat sri lanka and india too... good luck and i think you have very good chance to surprise any nation very soon.......all the best

Posted by Webba84 on (March 1, 2014, 19:36 GMT)

Congrats from Australia! Look forward to seeing you guys playing here in the not distant future.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 19:25 GMT)

@Sangeet Khatri! Afghanistan team is dropping catches because they learned cricket from Paksitan. As everyone knows how good Pakistan cricket team is in dropping catches. I don't want to mention Sydney test match here.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 19:25 GMT)

Congratulations to Afghanistan from Ireland, the first full victory of many I hope!

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

First of all... i really thank from all of our all rounder lions...who indeed showed their ability and confidence and rised the flag of afghanistan...it is not an easy task...we thank their biggest victory...thanks from captan M.nabi.. from shinwari..stanakzai and from my friend hamid hassan and all other younger lions... but only my suggestion is to Afghanistan team is to field well and never drop catches... and try to bat so confident...bowling side is so excellent..thanks hamza hotak..and other spinnerss...

shafiullah khan from Rome italy

Posted by Great_Nate on (March 1, 2014, 19:04 GMT)

Full Credit to Afghanistan, it is a marvelous feat to win such a big game for them. However, does cricket really need another country which can't play at home against other nations?

Posted by BARFI on (March 1, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Afganistan will beating all top teams - give or take within 10 years

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

Great win for the Afghan team but they need to get inspired and work harder and shouldn't become complacent... They have some very good bowlers and they can turn into a potent force provided they groom the likes of Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan.... I wonder if these guys will attract any late attention by the IPL franchisees... Having said that, this is a landmark achievement for them!

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 18:11 GMT)

My special thanks goes to our dearest Pakistanis as well. You are a good neighbor to have. Thank you Pakistan and Congratulations Afghanistan.

Posted by safwan_tauseef on (March 1, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

Congrate from pakistan on a great win. All of us with you in your match winning party. Brave pakhtons with brave fight

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

Afghanistan the ll be win mor game

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 17:42 GMT)

Wishing Afghanistan the best in their future for cricket! They look to be a very dangerous side, and i hope they can get test status within this or next year by giving them more exposure. Good luck!!! Love from SL.

Tough luck Bangladesh, hope you bounce back strong and have a winning mentality.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

well played by them. they are hard working and disciplibed players. good game and its a historic day for them. need to focus on weak areas like fielding. cant be like this agaisnt big teams. need to be 100% for all 100 overs.

anyway impressive game. good luck for future

Posted by   on (March 1, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

I remember the first time when I saw Afghanistan play. It was against our nation India in the T20 world cup. Though Afghanistan were never the favorites, but still they managed to perform well.

Had they not dropped a lot of catches in that match, then they might have had won. That day the reason why Afghanistan lost to India was because they were misfielding and leaving important catches that day.

Now today, they performed well, both batting and bowling were good. The fielding was not the best but it was an effort better than when they played against India.

It is good to see another nation coming into cricket. Afghanistan had been living under war affected conditions for a long time, it is good to see them bursting like this on the International Scene. As a fan of cricket I welcome them ward heatedly.

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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
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