ACC Premier League 2014 May 7, 2014

All-round Afghanistan cruise to title win

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • LUTFULLA on May 11, 2014, 5:43 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on May 8, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    well done afghan boys congratulation to all afghans

  • on May 8, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    well done guys we really proud of you all :)

  • on May 8, 2014, 10:23 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • LUTFULLA on May 11, 2014, 5:43 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on May 8, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    well done afghan boys congratulation to all afghans

  • on May 8, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    well done guys we really proud of you all :)

  • on May 8, 2014, 10:23 GMT

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

  • on May 8, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Congratulation afghanistan team we proud of u .......... Long life AFGHANISTAN

  • Ahmadwahaj on May 8, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Congratulation Afghanistan finally we end no 1 Nepal also a great team best of luck for next time.

  • on May 8, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    I am very happy that the changes in the team have worked... Usman Ghani should open from now on in the first class matches... he is such as confident and stable player.. Noor Ali is the machine of fours... his front foot drives are unique in the world... well done to all of them...

  • nrs_1987 on May 8, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    DoN't WoRrY OuR NePaLi sUpEr HeRoEs, iT's JuSt A BaD TiMe foR uS, we are always favourites among the all asian team, we can do it next time and Afaganistan knows, NEPAL is always tough competitor for them. however best of luck AFGANISTAN team for comming world cup, but in next world cup, NEpal would be on the way of pakistan becareful......................

  • Younas126 on May 8, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    Congratulate Afghan heroes!!!!!!!!!!!

  • F.Hashimi on May 8, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    I think Nepal and Afghanistan can learn from each other a lot by playing more often. Nepal has quality spin bowling such as Shakti while Afghanistan has world class fast bowler the likes of both Zadrans and Hamid Hassan who is injured a the present time. I believe there should be a lot more games between these two team and I hope that ICC will help both teams.

  • P0isonal on May 8, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    Bowling mechine isn't provided for nepali team that's why nepali team had problem with good fast bowling attack team, CAN need to provide that, and consistancy is one thing which nepal lacks!! Congrats Afg team :)

  • on May 7, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    Player of the series? Good rivalry between Afg and Nepal.

  • on May 7, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    well done team Afghanistan very well played keep it up. we are very proud of you guys especially on the youngsters who showed some brilliant performance on their debuts. Team Afghanistan proved to the ICC and the world that we are capable of producing good talented players in further to become a full members cricket nation. Now all ICC needs to do is provide more matches against the full members. So that we can get the experience of playing against full members cricket nations and share that experience with upcoming stars in the country

  • on May 7, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Congratulation to Nabi and other heroes, we are proud of you, welcome back to the glory.

  • on May 7, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    congratulation team afghanista

  • on May 7, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    The problem with Nepal today was they looked too defensive right from the beginning. They allowed the Afghan bowlers to settle down. Playing with 7 batsmen they should have tried to attack the bowlers and put them under pressure and force them to make mistakes. They should learn from their mistakes. Afghan looked best from every aspect. Congratulations to their team for ending number one.

  • on May 7, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Wish to see more of Nepal and Afghan friendly matches in future. ACC should arrange more of this kind of tournament between associates. Afghan tour of Nepal would be great. Hope the game of cricket be a leading factor for Peace and Progress in both the Nations.

  • on May 7, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    Love you afghanistan team

  • on May 7, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Well done Afghan boys & better luck to Nepal team next time

  • on May 7, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    well done afghan ......... I Love Afghan cricket team :)

  • on May 7, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    well done afghan

  • Ganesh.poudel on May 7, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Congrats Afg for winning the title..and for Nepal being runner up.Nepal needs some serious homework on batting line up.Sompal is great future of nepali bowling. Hope NPL down the line revel some young batting talent for Nepal.

  • nepal_pak on May 7, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Congrats Afghanistan.. You played like heavyweights of cricket... I felt sorry for our team Nepal.... They tried hard but still but could not perform well, specially the batsmen let us down.. Theres long way to go for team Nepal to match the levels of Ireland and Afghanistan... Still we are proud of you guys, you are improving day by day and we are rising above most of the other associate nations.. Overall you performed well ...The Glory will come soon ..Jay Nepal

  • Shifaullah on May 7, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    congrates Afghanistan, great and wonder job by our cricket guys, tnx from selection board for a perfect selection of the players in Afghan Squad. no worries Nepali brothers, as for as wining is important the same a good performance is also important and you guys showed you have a great performance.... respect to Afghan and Nepali players and fans.

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    Congratulation from Germany. You won millions of hearts again inside and outside of AFG.

  • anzooo on May 7, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    congrtz to afg.....and good jobs to Nepalese bro... Nepal beat afg in t20 world cup because Nepalese player gave all their strength to win.. it wasn't a luck......and today afg beat Nepal becuz Nepalese player doesn't give their full performances..so afg is just 1 step ahead than Nepal ,and afg fan have no right to say us minnow....

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Congratulations Afghanistan..Perfect team effort...Dawlat Zadran done a massive job for you today also new player done a good job. same Nepal did very well but that is game.some time winner or some time loser the Nepal team is new compare to Afg team but Nepal performance was really well good luck for both team next time, respect for both Nation Ata From Afghanistan

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Afghanistan proved to be the best associate team, they are improving time by time, they played brilliantly in all departments, batting, bowling and fielding. the Rising Stars Usman Ghani, Hashmat Shaheedi proved Afghanistan has a very bright future.

    Today Nepal batted very ordinarily, their batting order was so weak, Afghanistan bowlers destroyed their batting order, and they couldn't resist at all. Nepal has to improve and pay special attention to their batting line.

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    An inspiration about the seemingly impossible odds, can be reduced with courage, positivity, development and teamwork. Really do think to increase the intensity of their games ,is to expand the network of touring games, incorporated into the framework of the English, Australian, South African seasons. Virtually all the overseas stars would attribute their development in playing in foreign lands, challenges both in mentality and terms of technique.

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    We proud of you Afghan Cricket Team.

  • DauD_ on May 7, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Wow nepal got thrashed today by the Afghan Lions. Well done to both teams, but nepal still have a long way to go before they reach Afghanistan's level. Afghanistan have already qualified for the 2015 ODI World Cup.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    The youngsters showed that Afghanistan has a bright future, more youngsters should be given chance in the future, we can't wait to see Farid Malik in the side, one of the greatest young bowler we have seen so far.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    That is a big margin to win. it looks like last time nepal beat Afghanistan was a good luck for them.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Nepal unlucky to make an upset today, better luck next time for minnows.

  • Abdulhaqhaqmal on May 7, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    that was absolutely brilliant performance from Afghanistan. well done and congrats to all Afghans.

  • sssugat on May 7, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    well done Nepal we are really proud of you and are eager to see you at the airport as you return.....you have never let us down although you lost against them in this highly affected rain......we are proud of you for securing 2nd position among Asian Associates!! Jai Nepal!! Hats off to you heroes!

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Congratulations Afghanistan..Perfect team effort...Dawlat Zadran done a massive job for you today..Next game of Nepal with Afghanistan is in ACC Championship in December.Respect from Nepal..

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Afghanistan are really professional icc should take some positive decision to granted them full membership and also give them some matches against full members before worlcup 2015

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Afghan tigers shown that they are best

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  • on May 7, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Afghan tigers shown that they are best

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Afghanistan are really professional icc should take some positive decision to granted them full membership and also give them some matches against full members before worlcup 2015

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Congratulations Afghanistan..Perfect team effort...Dawlat Zadran done a massive job for you today..Next game of Nepal with Afghanistan is in ACC Championship in December.Respect from Nepal..

  • sssugat on May 7, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    well done Nepal we are really proud of you and are eager to see you at the airport as you return.....you have never let us down although you lost against them in this highly affected rain......we are proud of you for securing 2nd position among Asian Associates!! Jai Nepal!! Hats off to you heroes!

  • Abdulhaqhaqmal on May 7, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    that was absolutely brilliant performance from Afghanistan. well done and congrats to all Afghans.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Nepal unlucky to make an upset today, better luck next time for minnows.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    That is a big margin to win. it looks like last time nepal beat Afghanistan was a good luck for them.

  • on May 7, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    The youngsters showed that Afghanistan has a bright future, more youngsters should be given chance in the future, we can't wait to see Farid Malik in the side, one of the greatest young bowler we have seen so far.

  • DauD_ on May 7, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Wow nepal got thrashed today by the Afghan Lions. Well done to both teams, but nepal still have a long way to go before they reach Afghanistan's level. Afghanistan have already qualified for the 2015 ODI World Cup.

  • on May 7, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    We proud of you Afghan Cricket Team.