Afghanistan's Rocky ascent
Our first aim has been achieved and we have qualified for the Super Fours stages of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier after we beat USA today.
It is a real boost that we have won all three matches and that we carry two points into the next stage. We know that one more win might be enough to get us into the final, but our only focus is trying to win every match that we play in.
I was really pleased with my bowling display – it is always nice to get a wicket with your first ball – and I always felt confident that we would be able to defend our target.
As ever, we received fantastic support from our fans in the stadium at the Sports City – it was very inspiring to see so many Afghanistan flags on display as it really makes you want to do well for your country. I really appreciate all of the messages from my previous blogs as well. It seems like everybody wants Afghanistan to do well! Hopefully even more people may be able to come to our remaining matches, as I think our support is quite intimidating for the opposition.
After the match, I had to go to do a post-match media conference and they all wanted to know how it felt to beat USA, but the opposition didn’t matter to me. I was just happy to win another cricket match.
I love getting the chance to play against different countries and this was the first time we had ever played USA in an international match. I could never have dreamed when I was young, that I would one day play them in a cricket game.
I am a big fan of American television and movies and my favourite film is Rocky – I vividly remember watching it when I was growing up – and one of my heroes is Sylvester Stallone.
I think that there is a similarity in the story of Rocky and the Afghanistan cricket team – we both started at the bottom and gradually made our way up the rankings. It is easy to forget how far we have come in the last two years since we played at the World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey.
We all want to win the tournament and having the chance to play against India or South Africa at the ICC World Twenty20 really would be like Rocky having the chance to fight the champion and we are determined to make our dreams come true.