ACC Premier League 2014

All-round Afghanistan cruise to title win

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 7, 2014

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

The Afghanistan team celebrate their win, Afghanistan v Nepal, ACC Premier League 2014, Kuala Lumpur, May 7, 2014
Afghanistan have progressed to the ACC Championship along with Nepal, UAE and Oman © Peter Lim/ACC
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An all-round display from Afghanistan helped them steamroll Nepal and claim the ACC Premier League title with a 108 run (D/L method) win in their last league game. As the top two teams in the Premier League, both Afghanistan and Nepal have qualified for the Asian Cricket Council Championship to be played later this year.

The top-order set the foundation for the win, with fifties from Usman Ghani (51) and Hashmatullah Shaidi (51). A brisk 25-ball 34 from captain Mohammad Nabi lifted them after quick wickets, as Afghanistan eventually finished at a strong 262.

Nepal's reply was nearly decimated at the start as Dawlat Zadran ran through the top order to leave them at 40 for 4. From thereon, the chase was always going to be a difficult one and Nepal's chances of salvaging some pride were dealt another blow when rain interrupted the game. After the rain delay extended for more than hour, Nepal resumed their chase at 56 for 5 needing 181 to win from 15 overs.

They lost Aarif Sheikh in the first over after resumption but Paras Khadka tried to stall Afghanistan's charge with a 51-ball 33. Once he was out, the ninth-wicket pair of Shakti Gauchan and Sompal Kami played off most of the remaining overs as Afghanistan coasted to the win. Dawlat Zadran was named Man of the Match for his 4 for 26.

UAE overtook Oman to finish third in the points table, by virtue of a better net run-rate, with a 57-run win in their last match of the competition. In spite of the result, both teams qualified for the Asian Cricket Council Championship, which is to be held later in the year.

UAE were asked to bat and got off to a solid start as the openers put up 41 runs. Mohammad Shahzad top-scored with 50 but UAE lost regular wickets which halted the momentum. They were eventually bowled out for 162 with more than 11 overs to go. Medium-pacer Munis Ansari picked up four wickets in his nine overs, giving away 43 runs.

In the chase, Oman had recovered from a shaky start and had reached 75 for 3 but they lost seven wickets for 30 runs and were shot out for 103. Vaibhav Wategaonkar (34) was the only one who provided any resistance. Fayyaz Ahmed and Kamran Shazad picked up three wickets each.

Hong Kong beat Malaysia by four wickets at Selangor Turf Club, to pick up their first points of the tournament. Malaysia, who were put in to bat, were struggling to put up a competitive total after they lost half their side for 79 in the 17th over. Khizar Hayat (37) and Hammadullah Khan (38) revived the side with a 66-run, sixth-wicket stand, but Malaysia could only manage 184 runs as they were bowled out in the 47th over. Left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed finished with figures of 3 for 28 in 8.5 overs.

In reply, Hong Kong were in a commanding position at 93 for 1 but lost two wickets in four balls, which evened the game out. Babar Hayat scored a 76-ball 45 to guide Hong Kong to a win, with 47 balls to spare. Hayat and Shahrulnizam Yusof shared four wickets among them.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

Be positive guys. Do some thing for the betterment of Hong Kong cricket. We owe to this association. On individual basis do some thing on one to one and give these young players some confidence. You guys know better than this coach about your own guys.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

I request you guys in HK cricket association to make some changes and seriously think about changes in coaching staff. Don't waste these guys. Only drills can not get good results in the match. Let them play Their natural games and coach should try to sharpen them not fully change them from up to down. This coach have done all his experiments on our players. Don't tell me that during his time we won few matches. Don't forget these matches you won because of those players which are not in good book of your coach. Hong Kong players don't know that on what number they will bowl or bat. retired players: come forward for the best of Hong Kong team. Don't feel shame or scared, come forward and give some suggestion for the betterment of Hong Kong team. Be positive : Hong Kong is better team with lot of talent.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

Congratulations to Afghanistan. What about Hong Kong? Plus 80% players are from Pakistan and India and coach Is from Australia. I have never seen, know or met with any Australian who don't have a knowledge of cricket. I doubt that this guy is from Australia. Until today he could not give a proper batting line. Take out all matches history and you will see that less than 10% matches he has the same line up. And also bowling line up also suffering same problem. This team could have given more better results even without coach. Hong Kong coach must understand that he is also human being and not from other world. Since many years he can't understand that these guys got so much talent and you have made them "zero" instead of hero. Few senior players are still better than you, when you were in young age as player. Regardless of their age. A last tournament hero was not in this tournament. You should keep ablest 2 or 3 senior player is the squad. Do your job as a coach not as the dictator.

Posted by LUTFULLA on (May 11, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

Best of luck Afghan Cricket Board! Congratulation the cup we proud of all members of team

Posted by   on (May 9, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

Luck Favours Afghanistan, Crowed Favoured Nepal. Despite loss Nepal is Happy. Best Competitors in ACC Associates are only these two. Best of luck for Afghanistan for Upcoming World Cup.

Posted by   on (May 8, 2014, 23:45 GMT)

Congrats to all Afghans for this achievement & good to see all these youngsters proved themselves. One suggestion, Shafiqullah should be bring in little earlier than have him wait to final overs & in addition, they should have given spot to Gulbadin instead of Mirwais Ashraf. Over all happy to see Afghanistan progress & making themselves prepare for the World Cup.

Posted by   on (May 8, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

Well Done Guys. But in Bowling department we still need some Under 19 team bowlers. but please get rid of Aftab Alam.

Posted by   on (May 8, 2014, 18:53 GMT)

well done afghan boys congratulation to all afghans

Posted by   on (May 8, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

well done guys we really proud of you all :)

Posted by   on (May 8, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

many many congratulations to Afghan brothers and sisters all around the world especialy to our team

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