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It is hard to describe how I feel after helping Afghanistan beat Ireland at Krugersdorp – probably the greatest win in the history of Afghanistan cricket. To take five wickets in such an important game for my country if a fantastic feeling and I am very proud of all my team-mates.
When I came back onto bowl with six overs of the match remaining, we knew that we had to get some quick wickets if we were to have any chance of winning the match.
They were trying to score quickly and playing quite a few cross batted shots so my focus was on trying to bowl the ball as full and straight as possible. I managed to build up a really good rhythm and was bowling as quickly as I could.
Once I had got out Andrew White, my focus was then just trying to bowl a maiden over, but somehow I ended up taking three wickets – it was unbelievable! I enjoy bowling in pressure situations at the end and I think my yorker is very useful at that stage of the game.
I believe this victory shows the potential of the Afghanistan team. It is hard to think just under two years ago, we lost to Singapore in the World Cricket League Division 5 on a cold day in Jersey and now we are beating a team that defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh at the last ICC Cricket World Cup. That is incredible progress and I don’t think anybody could ever have predicted that this would happen to us.
Not only are we developing our cricketing skills, as I think we have learnt a lot about our batting, bowling and fielding, but we are developing the mental side of our game as well as we have showed great character to respond from three defeats.
Only by having the chance to play against the best sides on a regular basis will we develop the consistency that we need to compete against the biggest Associate teams on a regular basis. That is why it is so important for us to do well in our remaining three matches and try and qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup or at least finish in the top six of the table to gain ODI status.
It is a massive game for us on Monday against Canada and we will certainly be approaching that match with a lot of confidence. After everything that has happened to this team, I don’t think anybody can predict what will happen.
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