Afghanistan v Oman, Asia Cup 2016, Fatullah February 20, 2016

Dawlat muscles Afghanistan to first win

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Afghanistan 168 for 7 (Noor Ali 63, Mehran 3-18, Bilal 3-33) beat Oman 165 for 4 (Ilyas 54, Maqsood 52, Naib 2-24) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo: Dawlat Zadran's twin sixes in the last over helped Afghanistan seal their first win in the Asia Cup T20 qualifiers © Chris Whiteoak

Afghanistan reinvigorated their hopes of qualifying for the main round of the Asia Cup T20 with a thrilling three-wicket win over Oman in Fatullah on Saturday. The star of the show was Dawlat Zadran, who clubbed two consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by left-arm spinner Ajay Lalcheta as Afghanistan chased down 166 with three balls to spare.

Oman, seeking a repeat of their performance over Hong Kong, opted to bat and were powered by the opening combine of Zeeshan Maqsood (52) and Jatinder Singh (23). Adnan Ilyas, the No. 3 batsman, built on the firm base to score an enterprising 27-ball 54 comprising three fours and four sixes. But his dismissal in the 17th over proved to be the difference between where Oman eventually finished and where they would have liked to finish. Gulbadin Naib, the medium-pacer, was the most economical, picking two wickets and conceding just 24 runs off his full quota.

For the second successive night, Mohammad Shahzad fell inside the second over as Afghanistan slipped right at the start of their chase. That Afghanistan got into a position from where they could chase down the target was largely due to Noor Ali Zadran, whose quickfire start allowed the middle-order batsmen to settle in. Noor Ali's second-wicket stand of 54 off just 4.4 overs with Asghar Stanikzai, the captain, helped them steer clear of the asking rate.

But the dismissals of Stanikzai and Karim Sadiq, the top-scorer in their loss to United Arab Emirates on Friday, threw a spanner in their works courtesy Mehran Khan as Afghanistan slipped to 60 for 3. The medium-pacer added the scalp of Mohammad Nabi to his kitty soon after to leave Afghanistan wobbly even before they had wiped out half the target.

Najibullah Zadran set about repairing the innings, conjuring a 21-ball 23. In doing so, he ensured a lower-order collapse was averted, and more importantly, brought the difference between runs and balls to just three going into the last four overs. But there appeared to be another twist as Bilal Khan trapped Najibullah and Noor Ali lbw within three deliveries in the 17th over.

With 21 needed off the last two overs, Samiullah Shenwari, who was left out of their tournament opener, hit two successive fours to ease the pressure, taking the game into the final over with 10 needed. After having nearly taken them home, Shenwari holed out to long-on with five balls to play. The scene was set for one of Lalcheta or Dawlat to be a hero. On the night, it was Dawlat's ice-cool veins that prevailed in a tense clash.

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  • Àß Šąbõõř Ýąqųbį on February 21, 2016, 18:44 GMT

    if Afghanistan win the last game against HkG amd other side UAE lost the game vs omn with big margin then which team will enter in Asia cup in fact should Afghanistan play in this tournament bcz it's the great format of T20. ...

  • WardakAfg. on February 21, 2016, 16:41 GMT

    Why doesn't ICC post the the current run rate?

  • Afgun_Mujahid on February 21, 2016, 13:39 GMT

    Unfortunately UAE are favourites from here, I am not a cricket fan but like to see Afghanistan on big stage as it brings happiness and joy on many Afghans youngsters/olders, for Afghans its not for money as in case of UAE and its expats. Arabs don't watch cricket, they don't even know they have a cricket team. This is unfair tournament why does Afg need to play qualifiers anyway,

  • Afgun_Mujahid on February 21, 2016, 13:31 GMT

    Afghanistan never does any preparation against any opponents prior to the game, they should utilise their bowlers according to the opponent's weakness same with batting but Afghanistan has standard planing for wvery game wether strong or weak, one plan is not sufficient, they must change/adapt according to the opponent. I don't see this as fair competition how can you have 9 foreign players. they might as well enter BPL or IPL league.

  •   Mostakim Shuvo on February 21, 2016, 8:34 GMT

    Some people take Bangladesh here without any valid reason. They have said that Afghanistan beat Bangladesh but the reality is that Afghanistan has never beaten Bangladesh in T20 format and they have never beaten any test playing countries in T20 format except Zimbabwe. They just won against associates and getting points results in higher ranking than Bangladesh as Bangladesh played less matches than Afghanistan. In fact, in the last Asia Cup, it was not full strength team of Bangladesh missing Tamim, Sakib and also Musfiq. So Afghanistan beat weak Bangladesh team in odi but they have beaten by big margin when they played against full strength Bangladesh team. Bangladesh won by 9 wickets (with 48 balls remaining) T20 world cup Bangladesh won by 105 runs ODI no. 3605 | 2014/15 season Played at Manuka Oval, Canberra (neutral venue) 18 February 2015 - day/night match (50-over match

  • Zahirshah on February 21, 2016, 4:55 GMT

    Afghanistan is the only team who's players are national and from Afghanistan, the remaining Oman, HK, and UAE's players are not from their own countries, they are from Pakistan, India, and Srilanka, so I think Afghanistan should win this tournament and qualify for the main draw, why because they will play with their potential not for money, and I think they are a little bit challenging as well, the other three teams don't have more experience with big teams, so I don't think they will perform well against India, pak, BD and Sri lanka, but Afghanistan would be a challenge for them, and that is what we want,,,, so best of luck for Afghanistan,,,,,

  • WardakAfg. on February 21, 2016, 3:56 GMT

    Afg. need to perform well to show that they deserve the qualification. If UAE wins their next two matches then there is no point to argue and if they lose one of them then in that case Afg. has to perform really well and win the third match against HK by a big margin. Keep fingers crossed for Afg.

  • WardakAfg. on February 20, 2016, 21:11 GMT

    If M. Shahzad plays and does not become out until over 12, the win is with Afghanistan.

  • S on February 20, 2016, 21:00 GMT

    Can't wait to see afghanistan vs india. About time india got to play with someone with equal skill.

  • Afgun_Mujahid on February 20, 2016, 17:47 GMT

    The reason Afghan team is not playing to its full potential or expectation is coz the senior players are not performing and the few younger players need experience and some time. The team can get better it the seniors perform well or step down for more youngsters to take the job on but they're not doing either of the two so the team will unfortunately go down. very sad situation

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