April 3, 2009

ICC World Cup Qualifiers

Our versatility is helping us

Kanishkaa Balachandran

Hamid Hassan, the Afghanistan bowler, blogs for Cricinfo from the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa.

I am so excited that we have won our first two matches at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers and that we are on course to qualify for the Super Eight stages.

In our first match against Denmark, I never expected Karim Khan, who is our wicketkeeper, to come on to bowl and take four wickets– he changed the game. He only started bowling as he had injured his finger, which meant he couldn’t keep wicket, so it showed what a lucky team we are.

Karim is a very important player for us, with his batting, bowling and wicketkeeping. It is great to see him back in form with the bat, as he hadn’t scored that many runs in previous events, but when he is playing well he gives us a great start to the innings as he scores so quickly. He is also a real character and is very noisy, as he really enjoys his cricket and is always trying to have lots of fun.

We had a really good run chase and everybody batted really well and it was nice to reach our target very comfortably.

Against Bermuda, Karim again gave us a good start, but we suffered a major batting collapse, which has happened in previous qualifying events. I don’t know why this occurs but we always seem to recover and Nowroz, our captain, is perfect for these type of situations as he loves batting under pressure and has the ability to bat for a long time and then score quick runs at the end.

The number of runs we scored in the last few overs was very important as it gave us a good target to bowl at and it was important that we got a couple of good early wickets.

Sami [Shenwari], [Mohammad] Nabi and myself then bowled really well, keeping the runs down and taking regular wickets, and we really deserved our victory.

It was great to beat a country that played in the last World Cup and show everybody that we are capable of competing against countries that have ODI status.

I am really excited about our match against Kenya on Saturday and we know that we need to win another group game if we are to progress to the Super Eights. I am looking forward to bowling to Steve Tikolo and will be doing my best to get him out.

I remember watching them in the 2003 World Cup when they got to the semi-final. I watched the matches on my television at home in Peshawar. It is unbelievable that we are going to be playing against a team that has got that far in the World Cup and it should be a great match.

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Haris Zazai on (April 11, 2009, 7:11 GMT)

It would b really gr8 to see Afghan team in ODI nd W.Cup 2011

Hope u guys will bring victory To da war shattered country.

Best ov luck

Posted by vinod dhar on (April 11, 2009, 7:01 GMT)

now then afghanistan has qualified for super 8s and in all probablity not going to qualify for the world cup, but still it is a great effort by the Afghan team. Congratulations for even reaching even till this stage.

Posted by Masood ahmad on (April 6, 2009, 5:27 GMT)

First of all i congratulate the afghan nation over the victory that afghan cricket team achieved in wcq 2009.then i on behalf of all afghans thank from the fans of afghan team specially from all our indian brothers and sisters.Afghanistan unfortunatelly lost their 3rd match against kenya but i m sure that they will win the next match because they have the prayers of their fans with their selves. wish u all the afghanistan.

Posted by Avagana on (April 4, 2009, 19:59 GMT)

God bless you, and god bless Afghanistan. May all your troubles come to an end, may your land and people have peace and prosperity again. We in India will always support you. Hope to see you here in 2011. Good luck!

Posted by jamil momand on (April 4, 2009, 18:26 GMT)

you guys prove that u belong to a great nation. keep it up and u will win the tournament

Posted by Aditya Mookerjee on (April 4, 2009, 15:11 GMT)

I am delighted for the cricket team of Afghanistan. I wonder what the pitches prepared for cricket in Afghanistan, are like for playing on. I hear that the terrain is very rocky. Afghanistan is indeed lucky in that they have Karim Khan playing for them. For all one knows, Afghanistan may defeat Kenya, though one must remember, that Kenya is a very strong nation, when one refers to cricket. Reaching the semi final in any international sporting tournament, is no small task, but I hope that Afghanistan become a sporting powerhouse in the future, and also hope that there are many sporting exchanges between India and Afghanistan.

Posted by Syed Ali on (April 4, 2009, 11:58 GMT)

Hameed Bhai, Salam. This is Ali from Singapore. Are you conserving energy for the big games by bowling only half your quote or is there any other reason why are coming on to bowl so late? Congraulations on the first two wins but the big test lies ahead. Keep steaming in. Best of luck

Posted by Ezatullah waqar on (April 4, 2009, 7:11 GMT)

Good luck against kenya. I am sure you can defeat the serious contenders of the tournament. Keep it up.

Posted by Sohail Tausif on (April 4, 2009, 4:39 GMT)

Salam. good luck, everyone here in Christchurch, New Zealand are following you guys and you have all made us proud already with what you have acheived.. hope theres more to come.. khuda hafiz and we will beat Kenya Inshallah :)

Posted by Hamed on (April 4, 2009, 4:38 GMT)

Congratulations for first two matches win, Well done and Keep it up inshallah victory will be yours

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