Afghanistan February 10, 2010

A thrilling start

Hamid Hassan

Hamid Hassan

What a way to start the tournament! To win your opening game of the event is always important but to beat the number one Associate team who played in the Super Eights at the last ICC World Twenty20 is an amazing feeling.

Even though we beat Ireland at the World Cup Qualifier last year and in the ICC Intercontinental Cup last month, I always knew it was going to be a tough game, so to come out on top is a real boost for the team.

The support we received from the Afghanistan supporters was fantastic in the stadium. They made a lot of noise playing the drums. It was a great atmosphere to play in front of and really helped us gain our momentum once we got William Porterfield out. I would also to like to thank everybody who has been sending us messages from back in Afghanistan – the support we get from you all is incredible.

I was quite pleased with the way that I bowled and it was great to be involved in the final two wickets – the first was a run out when the ball was hit straight back to me and I managed to get a direct hit on the stumps and then the second one was cleaned bowled to finish the match.

I am very proud of my team and to represent my country. To show this to everybody I had small Afghanistan flags on my face. At the ACC Twenty20 in Dubai last year I only had one flag on my face, but for the Twenty20 Qualifier I thought it was important to have two flags – one on each cheek. Maybe it helped bring us luck!

We know that Scotland will be a tough match on Wednesday and even though we beat them twice last year at the World Cup Qualifier, there have been enough surprise results on the opening day of this event to remind us in Twenty20 anything can happen.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo