ICC World Cup Qualifiers April 3, 2009

Our versatility is helping us

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

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 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

  • Donald Stevens on April 4, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    Afganistan have been so good for raising awareness of cricket outside the elite level. Hopefully they will join the big boys in Test cricket one day. Cricket needs more countries with the passion for the sport that the Afghans have.

  • Kiomars on April 4, 2009, 1:17 GMT

    You have proved that you have that "X factor" and the charisma of great sporting teams. I haven't been lucky enough to watch you guys in action, but I am sure I and everyone else will be watching you for a long long time once you get that ODI status. It's just a matter of time. We are all proud of you.

  • nisar from sydney on April 3, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    well done Afghanistan cricket team you guys are the best and making all afghanistan people proud of your good work. come on you can do it. get Tikolo out on a duck and the rest will lose the way. i just cant go to sleep when the match is on and i cant wait to see you guys play and ODI against australia in sydney cricket ground. best of luck and enjoy your time especialy hameed hasan giving us the chance for feed back khuda hafiz

  • Tolafghan on April 3, 2009, 18:57 GMT

    Great job guys. Congrats. Hope you are reading the comments of those afghans who cannot write and English and follow your game on Afghani websites. Just have a look at www.tolafghan.com and you will see the love and happiness of your people. I wish you all the best tomorrow Against Kenya. You can beat them inshallah.

    Ilham

  • Ajmal Azami on April 3, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    Best of luck to you Hameed and Karim and to all the team. Do well in your next match against kenya. Ajmal Azami (jalalabad,Afghanistan)

  • Salman Riaz on April 3, 2009, 18:08 GMT

    Hey, congratz guys i m really happy u guys are succeeding and hopefully if God wills u guys will make it all the way to the world cup 2011 it would be amazing Go Afghanistan Go

  • Khushhal Azami on April 3, 2009, 18:08 GMT

    Afghans are the best. first of all i thank from all lions of afghan team and then i congratulate to all afghans and to the whole world over the victories that the afghan cricket team achieved. I wish our team Best of luck in their next match against kenya. All the best lions. Khushhal Azami (jalalabad,Afghanistan)

  • Karan on April 3, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    Hamid, congrats on your teams performance. All the best from India ... we'll be rooting for you !!!

  • Abdul Aziz Saadut on April 3, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    Imotional Congratulations Once Again! Afghanistan is our Home Land, & its name starts with letter " A ". "A" comes at the top of every table therefore Afghaistan Cricket Team has proved it many times that at the End of evry Event they have acquired the Top Position. The Nation expects some outstanding performances from Our Legends (Captain & Leader Nawroz, All in 1 Karim, Jalalabad Express Hassan, The Great Wall M.Nabi ) & every single player of the team for the rest of the tournament & every single Afghan including me Abdul Aziz Saadut & Hamid's Brother Dr. Rasheed from Peshawar Board wish our beloved Team all the BEST.

  • gopi rao on April 3, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    I am happy that Afganistan is really doing well beyond the expectations of many and doing better than those in the circuit since some time now. I wish you all the best on behalf of my cricket playing bunch at Nairobi, kenya. Kenya will be one of the tough teams you shall be facing. Take care. Gopi

  • Malik on April 3, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    Do your best. God will make you win, I will pray for you guys. from pakistani fan

  • Mau on April 3, 2009, 15:31 GMT

    Congratulations...and do not get complacent. Keep working hard and you will be in WC2011. It is unbeliveable to see where you have come from in the past 2 years...but that should not stop you from stopping the progress. All the best and keep winning.

  • Arbab Sikandar on April 3, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    Good on you Afghan boys. I have been keenly following you guys ever since you won that Division 5 tournament in Jersey. I can't wait to see you play in the 2011 world cup. It'll be great to have 2 teams you wanna see go all the way in the world cup. Besides, imagine both teams, Pakistan and Afghanistan, play eachother in Peshawar. That'll be a real treat. My prayers are with you guys. All the best.

  • Asif on April 3, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Great win guys. Try to win all matches in the group. It will take pressure off you in super eights. The coming games could be tougher and you might need to have greater team work. Every batsman should go in with responsibility. Inshallah eagerly waiting to see you guys in world cup.

  • saurabh on April 3, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    It is really heartening to see your team win 2 games. I am rooting for you and so are a number of other people, come on lets do this. I hope you reach the ICC WORLD CUP 2011 and play there :-)

    Inshah Allah !

  • HAMMAD on April 3, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    WELL DONE, AFGHANISTAN. WE IN PAKISTAN ARE PROUD WHEN WE HEAR ANY NEWS ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS. WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU.

  • Aimal Hakim on April 3, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Congrates, I'm sure you guys can make it to Super Eight. You deserve the 2 wins and wish you all the best in your upcomming games. I wish we could see you guys live on TV, but no worries as Shamshad TV is updating us with the scorboard. Credit goes to all AFG team specially to Karim, Hameed and Mangal who are the pressure killer. long live Afghanistan.

    Our prayers are with you guys.

    Keep it up.

  • Fawad S on April 3, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    hi i want to tell my great afghanistan team all the best and if u win or loss u r our heros u get till here in few years its a big achievement and thanks to our indian brothers for wishing us

  • Chathu from Australia on April 3, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Really pleased to see you guys win again and even more pleased to see an Associate nation with most of the players actually from that country. keep it going boys

  • Wali Jalalzai on April 3, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    I am really proud of my real heroes. You Guys are doing something which loooked almost impossible. Keep it up our prayers and wishes are with you.I am following afghan team since Jersey, every match every score i check the website and pray for the victory of my team.

    Wali Jalalzai Melbourne, Australia

  • Chathu from Australia on April 3, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    Really pleased to see you guys win again and even more pleased to see an Associate nation with most of the players actually from that country. keep it going boys

  • fridoon gullbahari on April 3, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    first of all i congratuate to all of our people and iam vvv happy from our team the beat the team who played in world cup before i want to see our team in wc2011 please lions do somting and take u self to world cup 2011 and dont think to reach in semi final just think abut wining this series and iam sure oure team can do it and can show it to all the world and also gaive msg to other countris laik pak,aus,sa,and sl that the new champions are about to arive be cearful i pray allot for my team to see them in world cup

  • susant on April 3, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    I am closely following your progress.Its been wonderful so far.Best of luck for the next match from all of Indian fans.I am dreaming about 5 super powers of cricket from Asia.Hope u will open the bowling in the next match .May your success story inspire millions....Go Afganistan go.

  • Dinesh on April 3, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Great Going !! Best of luck for the remaining matches !!

  • Hewad Mohmand on April 3, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Salaam Hameeda,

    You guys are doing so well. Keep it on like this and i hope that i will see you guys in the world cup 2011. Well my salam to the rest of the team and wish you and the rest good luck for the coming games.

    Salam From The Netherlands

  • poisollan on April 3, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Congrats Afghanistan...... Want to See u play cricket in my country ( India )........... Keep up the good work

  • Ganesh on April 3, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    Congratulations on your ( Afghanistan's) great performance so far. I on behalf of all Indians wish you and your team all the success in the world and I will be eagerly awaiting your qualification for the 2011 World Cup.

    It is indeed heartening to see a team which plays great cricket in spite of the difficulties surrounding it.

    May your tribe increase !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dr. Samir More on April 3, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    Its a real good start to the tournament, Hameed. Go for it. Now the tougher match ups start with Kenya and UAE and the Netherlands. We Indians are so looking forward to see you guys playing in India. Its going to be great. I am going to make sure I see you guys live in action atleast once. All the best brothers.

  • Umair Asad on April 3, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    I have been following your teams progress and it is good to note that Afghanistan has stopped giving away those silly Extras,mind you they cost a lot at the end. Keep up the good work and try to bat the whole 50 overs.

  • raver on April 3, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    Nepali team are also best team in non test playing nation. As luck depend in afganistan, neapl used to win all non-test playing nation but used to fail with afganistan. Then there would have nepal in name of afganistan.

  • Faisal Khan on April 3, 2009, 9:08 GMT

    We all in Pakistan are praying for your cricket team success. Afghanistan is an emerging cricket team and played very well and in future we want see our team Pakistan to play against Afghanistan. I wish Asian lobby should be more stronger than other and in this term china is also looking to flourish it's team. I hope and and praying that Afghanistan team will beat Kenya and in world cup matches we will see a new country taking on other teams. But I LOVE PAKISTAN :D

  • alex on April 3, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    hi. i have never watched any of the afg games live but i am very proud of you guys. i live in germany at the moment but i am afghan australian so i love my cricket. if you guys get to world cup i am coming to watch for sure. one peace of advice do not under estimate kenya and the lower middle needs to pick up their game when comes down to putting a fight. in a chasing situation if you lose wickets like that would mean great deal of truoble.

  • Spinghar Safi on April 3, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    Great Cricket by Afghanistan so far. If we beat Kenya tomorrow then I am sure that we will secure a place in the Top Four. I would like Hameed hassan to bowl at the start of the inning because he is quick and can take wickets. Give it a try for a few overs!!! My prayers are with all of you!

  • sudhai on April 3, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    i am from the west indies and i am surporting you guys. all i can say is when facing the ireland scotland it going to be tough. but good luck.

  • Sri Gutta on April 3, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Hameed,

    Have you considered shuffling your batting order? Send Shehzad and Nabi further up with a license to play their strokes.. Asghar can come later and play with the tail?

    Good luck for tomorrow. Believe in yourselves and I am sure it will be an exciting contest.

  • Dawood Massoud on April 3, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Good on you guys. Good luck for the next game against Kenya.

  • ubaidullah gulabyar ahmadzai on April 3, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    congrats!!!!

    Hameed best of luck to you and all of my friends in the team with i have played with like nawroz, karim, ahmadzais' hasti gul, mohamad nabi and khaliq dad. i know that you all have the potentional to compete with countries that have OID status. i m really looking forword to hear that afghanistan will play in the world cup 2011 or at least in the OIDs. We all are with you in your heats.

    Go Go lions and get it

    you are the best and you should come home with OID status. with all my love and best wishes

    ubaidullah gulabyar ahmadzai

  • shan169 on April 3, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    Hamid, congrats on winning the 1st 2 games...

    U guys luk all set to be top-6...

    If u guys upset 2 teams out of Kenya, Netherlands, Holland, Canada & Scotland, u guys can make it to TOP 4 & entry WC 2011 in INDIA...!!!

    And i cant understand y u r not opening or at least coming at 1st change... anyways u r winning, so worries...

    ALL THE BEST from INDIA for the remaining matches...

    been following Afghan team from 2006... Still remember u guys finishing 3rd in ACC Trophy & win 2007 ACC T20 Cup !!!

  • jawid on April 3, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    I hope you bowl earlier in the coming game against Kenya, because you are the bowler who can take wickets early on and that helps the team.In the last game you came to bowl very late in the innings. If the opposition gets to a good start, then even if you bring on Dale Styen, he won't be able to control the situation. Good luck..

  • andrew on April 3, 2009, 7:35 GMT

    go afghanistan!!!!!

  • Gourav Chakraborti on April 3, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    First of all i would like to congratulate you on behalf of all the indians for a great start in this tournament. i am very much sure you will qualify for the semis if u play in the way u played till now.I will be very happy if Afghanistan qualifies for the 2011 world cup. 5 asian countries playing in a world cup will be fantastic. go Afghanistan go

  • haider jaillani on April 3, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    well done buys, great to see our team doing well down there,next match against Kenya is so crucial if we win then great Afghanistan will be on supereight.we are all praying for you guys to get to the worldcup 2011.haider jaillani kabul

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  • haider jaillani on April 3, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    well done buys, great to see our team doing well down there,next match against Kenya is so crucial if we win then great Afghanistan will be on supereight.we are all praying for you guys to get to the worldcup 2011.haider jaillani kabul

  • Gourav Chakraborti on April 3, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    First of all i would like to congratulate you on behalf of all the indians for a great start in this tournament. i am very much sure you will qualify for the semis if u play in the way u played till now.I will be very happy if Afghanistan qualifies for the 2011 world cup. 5 asian countries playing in a world cup will be fantastic. go Afghanistan go

  • andrew on April 3, 2009, 7:35 GMT

    go afghanistan!!!!!

  • jawid on April 3, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    I hope you bowl earlier in the coming game against Kenya, because you are the bowler who can take wickets early on and that helps the team.In the last game you came to bowl very late in the innings. If the opposition gets to a good start, then even if you bring on Dale Styen, he won't be able to control the situation. Good luck..

  • shan169 on April 3, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    Hamid, congrats on winning the 1st 2 games...

    U guys luk all set to be top-6...

    If u guys upset 2 teams out of Kenya, Netherlands, Holland, Canada & Scotland, u guys can make it to TOP 4 & entry WC 2011 in INDIA...!!!

    And i cant understand y u r not opening or at least coming at 1st change... anyways u r winning, so worries...

    ALL THE BEST from INDIA for the remaining matches...

    been following Afghan team from 2006... Still remember u guys finishing 3rd in ACC Trophy & win 2007 ACC T20 Cup !!!

  • ubaidullah gulabyar ahmadzai on April 3, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    congrats!!!!

    Hameed best of luck to you and all of my friends in the team with i have played with like nawroz, karim, ahmadzais' hasti gul, mohamad nabi and khaliq dad. i know that you all have the potentional to compete with countries that have OID status. i m really looking forword to hear that afghanistan will play in the world cup 2011 or at least in the OIDs. We all are with you in your heats.

    Go Go lions and get it

    you are the best and you should come home with OID status. with all my love and best wishes

    ubaidullah gulabyar ahmadzai

  • Dawood Massoud on April 3, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Good on you guys. Good luck for the next game against Kenya.

  • Sri Gutta on April 3, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    Hameed,

    Have you considered shuffling your batting order? Send Shehzad and Nabi further up with a license to play their strokes.. Asghar can come later and play with the tail?

    Good luck for tomorrow. Believe in yourselves and I am sure it will be an exciting contest.

  • sudhai on April 3, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    i am from the west indies and i am surporting you guys. all i can say is when facing the ireland scotland it going to be tough. but good luck.

  • Spinghar Safi on April 3, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    Great Cricket by Afghanistan so far. If we beat Kenya tomorrow then I am sure that we will secure a place in the Top Four. I would like Hameed hassan to bowl at the start of the inning because he is quick and can take wickets. Give it a try for a few overs!!! My prayers are with all of you!