Afghanistan v Pakistan, one-off ODI, Sharjah February 10, 2012

Afridi sets up victory against spirited Afghanistan

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Pakistan 198 for 3 (Younis 70, Farhat 52) beat Afghanistan 195 (Sadiq 40, Nabi 37, Afridi 5-36) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan's all-round might proved too much for Afghanistan's carefree spirit, as Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Imran Farhat set up an emphatic win with 77 balls to spare. But the scorecard couldn't do justice to the show that Afghanistan put up. Presented with the opportunity of playing a Full Member, Afghanistan could have either been consumed by the occasion and allowed Pakistan to brush them away, or have thrown foolhardy punches in all directions, in hope rather than conviction. That they found a middle ground and competed for a large portion of the game justified the awed tones with which people have been speaking about their rapid rise.

Years from now, when no one will recall the result of this game, one image will endure. Saeed Ajmal, Man of the Series from the Test series against England, was forced into an early spell after Pakistan's new-ball bowlers were battered by Karim 'Kabul ka Sehwag' Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad. To Ajmal's third ball, the portly Shahzad calmly reversed his stance and heaved a flighted offbreak a good 20 yards into the stands behind square leg. It was just one shot, but it came against the bowler who had looped circles around England's celebrated top order through six innings of tortuous Test batting. It was a statement as telling as any - Misbah-ul-Haq smiled wryly into the distance as the ball disappeared. Afghanistan weren't bothered by reputations, and their top-order batsmen were intent on announcing themselves to the world.

The fun began early, when Umar Gul strayed into Sadiq's pads in the first over. Sadiq thumped the flick with a violence that was a sign of things to come. He would later prance out to Wahab Riaz and butcher a length ball over mid-off. Noor Ali Zadran perished at the other end, but Sadiq didn't seem to notice - he waited in the crease and launched a Gul slower ball for his first six. Gul wisely shelved the slower ball after that. Shahzad warmed up by flicking, carving and lofting Riaz for successive fours before producing that six against Ajmal. If there ever was a shot that gave the crowd its money's worth, this was it.

It took Pakistan a moment of athletic brilliance to stop Afghanistan's rampant progress. Shahzad opened up the off side and looked to cream Afridi's second ball over point, but Asad Shafiq leapt up and snatched it with one hand when he was at full stretch. The catch was so extraordinary, that even Afridi deigned to leave the spotlight on the fielder, as he refrained from his characteristic X-man celebrations.

Afridi's variations of spin and pace - one of his balls clocked 131 kph - gradually unravelled Afghanistan's innings. Nawroz Mangal missed a slog to lose his stumps, before Sadiq - who had carted Mohammad Hafeez for another towering six - edged a wide delivery behind. The run-rate had fallen considerably by the time Afridi fizzed a googly in to catch the debutant Gulbodin Naib plumb.

Despite the damage, Mohammad Nabi teed off over long-on for the fourth six of the innings, suggesting that minor inconveniences such as wickets weren't going to come in the way of fun. He later repeated the dose against Shoaib Malik as Afghanistan continued to keep the raucous supporters entertained.

The reverse sweep continued to be the Afghan stroke of choice: Samiullah Shenwari nearly reverse-slapped Shoaib Malik over the backward point boundary even as he fell over. Given how badly conventional methods deserted them in the Tests, England's batsmen might be tempted to try the stroke in the limited-overs series.

A run-out ended the partnership when it was worth 46, and Afghanistan's fight gradually fizzled thereafter as they folded under 200. But their spirit was far from extinguished.

It was easy to make out that Afghanistan's new-ball bowlers - the Zadrans, Shapoor and Dawlat - weren't related. Shapoor, a tall, long-haired left-armer, chugged in to capitalise on the nagging angle across the right-hand batsmen. Dawlat, a shorter right-arm seamer, displayed the tendency to skid through at pace, a bit like Waqar Younis, to expose flaws in the techniques of Pakistan's top three. With his 12th delivery to Mohammad Hafeez, Dawlat induced him to hop in the crease and edge onto the stumps. Later in his spell, he trapped the aggressive Shafiq when the batsman played all over a pacy indipper.

Farhat began scratchily, mistiming quite a few in the early overs before easing into some sort of fluency. He settled down once the pace dropped, preying on Mirwais Ashraf's medium-pace, Karim Sadiq's part-time offbreaks, and debutant Hamza Hotak's left-arm spin for boundaries. Three successive fours off Hotak took him past fifty.

Shamiullah Shenwari dismissed Farhat with a soft return catch in his first over, but Younis and Misbah produced three fours off the next four balls to restate Pakistan's control. Gradually, Pakistan's obdurate old men turned the heat on with a series of telling drives, as the target was achieved on the double. It was fitting that Misbah scored the winning runs with a reverse-sweep, sealing a seven-wicket triumph. But to focus on the result at this momentous juncture in the Afghanistan journey would be to miss the point completely.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY shami_jee on | February 13, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    I Loved the way SHAHZAD hit Ajmal for a six on reverse sweep & for the first time in my Life, I enjoyed the beating of our Pakistani bowlers from the opponents... ICC should give some International games to Afghanistan in Future Tour Programs.. I can bet that Afghanistan can be a much much better team than Bangladesh in the same period of time Bangladesh has grown b/c they have strength to clear the fence & also the bowlers who can generate pace..........

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 13, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Afghanistan easily my 2nd favourite side. I like Pakistan, but I was really hoping for an Afghan victory. Hope they get Associate status very soon. I definately think that one of the best things the PCB has done, is foster a relationship with Afghanistan. They should have annual ODI series.

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | February 12, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    11 AFGAN CRICKETERS GAVE THEIR PEOPLE AND THE WORLD SOME GOOD TIME FOR FEW HOURS ONLY. CAN THE AFGANS DESTINY MAKERS NOW GIVE THE PEOPLE OF AFGANISTAN THE RIGHT TO ENJOY THEIR LIVES?

  • POSTED BY Malti65 on | February 12, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Good Article. Afghanistan did well in not gettng over-awed by the more established opponents.

  • POSTED BY Strafer on | February 12, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    This is just fantastic! Really really happy to see Afghanistan play on the world stage and do it pretty well! Make no mistake, Pakistan is a very very good unit right now and Afghanistan did well against them. For a country that has been through so much, it makes me glad to see some elements of normality return to life there. All the best from Australia!

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Damn! I swear I thought this guy Dawlat looked like Waqar Younis. Wow! :D

  • POSTED BY topeleven on | February 11, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Mr Omer Qureshi I am from chennai and was very much appreciative for Afghanistan to play this game. For the nation which has seen destruction as their only source of daily routine,games like this should be apreciated rather than analysing it. India inspite of boasting of huge cash flow and infrastructure culdn't find a way how to play australia. Instead they give lame and stupid excuses and say we should prepare turning pitches .So please don't criticise any emerging nation that too nation like afghanistan playing cricket.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | February 11, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Super Afghanistan. I liked the fire and the start was very special. Pakistan needed two pathans (Afridi & Younis) to win the match. Had Afghanistan a better plan for Afridi, there could have been a different result. Good wishes for Afghans from Pakistan

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    very good fight from Afghanistan i love afghanistan and also i pray for Afghan team. Long life Afghanistan

  • POSTED BY khurramsch on | February 11, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    afghans showed a lot of character in this match thay can improve . i think icc should provide teams like afghan/ireland more chances to play with full memebres. In future program, there is a window for ipl , pak is not part of ipl, england only couople of players, aus, sa, wi, few players. so small teams can play these teams during ipl window. ( ok not 100% but 6/7 big international players can play). that will give small teams good chance to learn.

  • POSTED BY shami_jee on | February 13, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    I Loved the way SHAHZAD hit Ajmal for a six on reverse sweep & for the first time in my Life, I enjoyed the beating of our Pakistani bowlers from the opponents... ICC should give some International games to Afghanistan in Future Tour Programs.. I can bet that Afghanistan can be a much much better team than Bangladesh in the same period of time Bangladesh has grown b/c they have strength to clear the fence & also the bowlers who can generate pace..........

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 13, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    Afghanistan easily my 2nd favourite side. I like Pakistan, but I was really hoping for an Afghan victory. Hope they get Associate status very soon. I definately think that one of the best things the PCB has done, is foster a relationship with Afghanistan. They should have annual ODI series.

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | February 12, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    11 AFGAN CRICKETERS GAVE THEIR PEOPLE AND THE WORLD SOME GOOD TIME FOR FEW HOURS ONLY. CAN THE AFGANS DESTINY MAKERS NOW GIVE THE PEOPLE OF AFGANISTAN THE RIGHT TO ENJOY THEIR LIVES?

  • POSTED BY Malti65 on | February 12, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Good Article. Afghanistan did well in not gettng over-awed by the more established opponents.

  • POSTED BY Strafer on | February 12, 2012, 0:45 GMT

    This is just fantastic! Really really happy to see Afghanistan play on the world stage and do it pretty well! Make no mistake, Pakistan is a very very good unit right now and Afghanistan did well against them. For a country that has been through so much, it makes me glad to see some elements of normality return to life there. All the best from Australia!

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Damn! I swear I thought this guy Dawlat looked like Waqar Younis. Wow! :D

  • POSTED BY topeleven on | February 11, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Mr Omer Qureshi I am from chennai and was very much appreciative for Afghanistan to play this game. For the nation which has seen destruction as their only source of daily routine,games like this should be apreciated rather than analysing it. India inspite of boasting of huge cash flow and infrastructure culdn't find a way how to play australia. Instead they give lame and stupid excuses and say we should prepare turning pitches .So please don't criticise any emerging nation that too nation like afghanistan playing cricket.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | February 11, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Super Afghanistan. I liked the fire and the start was very special. Pakistan needed two pathans (Afridi & Younis) to win the match. Had Afghanistan a better plan for Afridi, there could have been a different result. Good wishes for Afghans from Pakistan

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    very good fight from Afghanistan i love afghanistan and also i pray for Afghan team. Long life Afghanistan

  • POSTED BY khurramsch on | February 11, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    afghans showed a lot of character in this match thay can improve . i think icc should provide teams like afghan/ireland more chances to play with full memebres. In future program, there is a window for ipl , pak is not part of ipl, england only couople of players, aus, sa, wi, few players. so small teams can play these teams during ipl window. ( ok not 100% but 6/7 big international players can play). that will give small teams good chance to learn.

  • POSTED BY omarqureshi111 on | February 11, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    for all those who are saying that √Ąghan bowling is better than India "..... please please please dont be foolish. Its not the speed that matter's , its your wildest imagination that Afghan bowlers were better than Indian bowlers. I am not an Indian supporter, but let me remind all those who are bashing at Indian bowlers, it's the method that counts, not the pace. It's the discipline that matters not the physique of a bowler. You shoudl compare the afghan bowlers to a club level team. One match and you guys have started comparing -

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Allow England to Play Afghanistan in ODI who know the result will be exciting,England may be No 1 Test team but very mercurial one day side as we saw in World Cup 2011

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @ Ahmad Fraydun Safi: don't compare the bowling strength, as Pakistan has number 1blowing and Afgan are good but not yet ready to compare with Pakistan's blowers. But good to see some fight against a better time.

  • POSTED BY omarqureshi111 on | February 11, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    I think Nitin Sunder got a bit carried away when composing this article. Ok, I am not taking anything away from Afghan cricket team, but anyoen would a tiny bit fo cricketing experience would agree with me that Aghan cricket team was playing like a college cricket team. Obviously you are bound to score (190+) on a shiny batting pitch. Besides, the shot selection was awkward which is not a long-term mehtod. Pakistan, were not even pinched in the entire match. You guys are just looking at a total of "196". Batting first with no sense of responsbility and nothing at stake, they just scored >200 on a track where Pakistan would have reached atleast 300 , and then bundled Aghan's at 150max under the lights. AGHAN's have a long long long way to go Nitin. Look at it honestly and dont try to galvanise a rusted metal.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    What a match it was. First of all I thank to UAE , secondly I thank to PCB for accepting the proposal of Afghanistan cricket board for this match and I also thank Shamshad Tv to boardcast this match live because there are 30 TV channels in the Afghanistan but only Shamshad TV boardcasted this match. and Finally I thanks the Afghan Fans who supported their team . I kindly request to ICC to give such opportunities to Afghan team to play against the test playing nation teams . Afghan team played well but they should learn from this match to improve the bathing and little bowling , fielding was ok. The ACB should provide the best batting coach for its team to improve the batting of players. Afghan team has small talented players who can prove. eventually, I hope they qualify for the next 20 worldcup. best of lack

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    @honestn02 u have just taken my words.DEAD RYT. shapoor zadran and hamid hasan are far too good than the two kumars......

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    An awesome piece of show by both the teams. Well, honestly speaking, Pakistan had to do their best but hats off to the Afghan team how fearlessly faced their opponents and fought till the end with the same spirit. Pakistan was under immense pressure when two wickets took off early. Had Afghans kept the same momentum of pressure, they would have been the triumphant side now. I was especially impressed by energy and pace Dawlat showcased.

    Though our boys played very well, we still need to improve in few areas including Fielding Department. Our batsmen too need to learn how to face fast bowlers, seamers and leg spinners. Our main problem stemmed from leg spinners. They should also know how to choose and whom to choose as their victim. Not all the bowlers are easy victims to make scores on. Our batsmen must be really careful in playing experienced and legendary bowlers.

    Overall, I'm satisfied with the result we got out of this match!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    The world now that we are now steeping on the ground. Thanks to Pakistani team for showing patience to our young team. I also want to dedicate my warm thanks to the fans in the Sharja for supporting our team. We would appreciate the ICC to give us chance to play with test nations and big team which will help our team to improve their skills. I am really happy to hear that the Bangladesh cricket board is supporting us and will play with us in the near future. I am really keen to see again Mr. Kabeer Khan as the Afghan Cricket Coach. I am also praying to a quick retirement and safe of Younis Khan who will be our next Batting Coach!

  • POSTED BY msrajani on | February 11, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    I am following Afghanistan cricket for two years.I am really impressed with the performance, they are showing for two years.It was my will that they play against full member team.By goodluck, its was my own country against them as a full member.First my A team, and now country's main team.They has given tough job to A team in last(3rd) oneday and that was very impressive.Afghanistan is my second home overtaking Bangladesh.Am wishing them a best for future matches, especially T20 world cup which is there next assignment.They should qualify for event and perform Very very Excellent.I do not post many comments here, but this team is spacial one to me.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    I was thrilled to see the Afghan bowlers. I think it won't be long before they become a force to be reckoned with. They are fearless and aggressive by nature and fast bowling will be a natural instinct. Even some of the top stars in Pakistan and Indian teams are of Afghan/Pakhtun decent.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Dear all

    Wish you all are enjoyed this game if u guys ask my feeling i cant say anything because i am that much happy. Dear brothers and sisters Afghanistan come in 2003 as a ICC member and when pakistan was playing this was the year 1947 and before that when there was British Handostan look at history. and one important thank when pakistan come to exist. the match between pak vs mombay is result is is bellow. Pakistan in India, 1952-53 Bombay v Pakistanis Brabourne Stadium, Bombay 08,09,10 November 1952 (3-day match)

    Result: Match drawn

    Toss: Pakistanis Umpires:

    Close of Play: # Day 1: Pakistanis 303/3 (Hanif Muhammad 102*, Maqsood Ahmed 9*) # Day 2: Pakistanis 517 decl, Bombay 92/2 (Irani 21*, Manjrekar 25*)

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    I would love to see Afghan vs USA in the upcoming T20 qualifiers.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    To be honest the only difference in Afghanistan and Pakistan's bowling was SHAHID AFRIDI which could be equaled by presence of HAMID HASSAN , without AFRIDI the bowling level was EQUAL,,, BUT IN batting side both teams had their own BANGS where PAKISTAN had higher hand in that,,, AM NOT SAD WITH OUR LOSS BUT AM HAPPY WITH OUR PERFORMANCE THAT WE TRIED OUR LEVEL BEST WITHOUT FEAR ,, WE FOUGHT UP TO THE LAST BALL PROOOOOD TOOO BEEE AFGHAAAAAN LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN

  • POSTED BY AfghanIdeal on | February 11, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Afghans played a good game.... just they have to be patient and to calm down.... the score after first 10 OVers was AFG ; 58/2 while Pak was 42/2.... so here is the difference that afghans were running fast.....

    CALM DOWN AFGHANS.... ND TEH TROPHY WILL BE YOURS

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    Who said ICC world cup should be only between 10 ICC full members? take that slap from Afghanistan..that is just for you.

  • POSTED BY honestno2 on | February 11, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Even Afghans have better pacer then India and to be honest this team is better then bangladesh........

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    I urge PCB to practically help Afghan cricket by inviting their domestic teams in Pakitsan domestic cricket and inviting our brother Afghans into PCB National accademy in addition to sending good coaches . I wish Afghanistan attaining TEST status in few years however will it will require few years of hard work and allevation of domestic cricket structure. I am sure in few years time we would see a Shoaib Akhtar, Waseem Akram or Imran Khanand why not a Inzimam or Lara from our brotherly Nation of Afghanistan.

  • POSTED BY BravoBravo on | February 11, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    Well done AFG. Very well played and I am happy. Nobody expected you to win against PAK even in their wildest dream but AFG you got the flair, Karim you beauty keep it up. With all good wishes I have a very good feeling for AFG team, they have potential and akin to Ireland team. Finally, Afridi and Younis are just amazing, and they are living legends, they are match winners not just the record holders, and they always adding new horizons to the game. I rather watch Afridi, Ajmal, Younis, Ponting, KPietersen, Dravid, Amla playing on any day of the week, and twice on Sunday than any other player.

  • POSTED BY codegreen on | February 11, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Hafeez will say :like afridi I am playing as spinner(bowler) in the team , so please dont ask questions about my batting,,,

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    Being a Pakistani I would like to congragulate our Afghan brorthers for playing their first competetive ODI in a worthy manner. It doesn't make any difference who wins among Pakistan and Afghanistan as we are the same and one. I wish Afghanistan to be the top team in world cricket ver ver soon.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    WHY?!! WHY??! WHY did Farhat do well?!?!?! :(

    P.S Well played Afghanistan... You deserve to get more opportunities in the future!

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    Afghanistan played really well.they did some mistake in batting .they play like t20 hope they learn to stay on wicket.and waite for lose ball.good luck Afghanistan..

  • POSTED BY Pelorus on | February 11, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Well done to the Afghanistan Cricket team - long may your development continue.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Fearless! Afghanistan team will be a force in 20/20 cricket in couple of years. I hope they do qualify for the worldcup.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    I didn't watch the match but just the news of Afghanistan playing competitive top class odi cricket got me really happy for them. They are quite passionate for the game and It was a good opportunity for them. Hope to see many such opportunities coming their way in future.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    Congratulations to Afghan Cricket Team and the whole Afghan nation for playing first international cricket match against Pakistan. Today I am impressed by the passion showed by Afghan crowed at Sharja Cricket ground. Being a cricket fan I am feeling very happy because Afghan team have strength to show good performances in coming years.

  • POSTED BY RaMin90 on | February 11, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Well done to Afghanistan for putting up a fight, very impressive. I think they should be playing along with Ireland more One Day matches especially against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh so they can develop their game. In fact, I heard Bangladesh will be willing to support the Afghan team and invite them to play in their turf later this year so this shows sign of progress for the Afghan team. By reading the comments on this article, a lot of you are a bit over optimistic that Afghanistan are better than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh when they're certainly not. The last time Afghanistan played Bangladesh, Afghanistan lost miserably. The same goes with those who support Afghanistan to have Test status. You guys should not get your hopes up for teams such as Afghanistan or even Ireland to achieve Test Status because you are still learning how to play the shorter forms of the game and until you can consistently win at that level than you can think about Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY cfhasib on | February 11, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    What ?? when did Afghanistan started to play ODIs?

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    For pakistan to put up their best against a young side and then go on to face England was poor choice that may misfire...

  • POSTED BY Zohaib.R.Q. on | February 10, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    it was a treat to watch afghanistan playing positive cricket. they have some really gutsy players.give them more exposure at highest level i say, soon will get better than bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY pakwin on | February 10, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    go pak go.you really showed afghan who is boss.Afridi you are a living legend.I hope you keep up the good job.Afghan you gave pak the jitters but never came out to beat pak.keep up the good work

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    the afghan play very well as tht they first ODI they need to play with team like aus, pak, ind and eng to get more experience. what i think about tht match tht afghan needed to stay partner for a while instead of been hurry.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    AS a Pakistani and hard core pakistan cricket , i am delighted and happy for our Afgan brothers and they will be might second favrit team ibn the near future if they are perfrming will.. inshallah keep it up guys ...

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    Afridi is Afridi, what can you say. But watching our batting struggle in the beginning was the testament that Afghan team could learn more by playing more - simply put. Good crowd draw, which is good for cricket. Good match.

  • POSTED BY mrkabul on | February 10, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    i send 1000 thankings to all pakistani fans and team for this game, i hope pakistan helps us by offering such games thank u every pakistani players for every ball they bowled and every bat they scored,,,, from Ajmal Kabuli

  • POSTED BY KMalik on | February 10, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Give Ireland and Afghanistan test status too.If Bangladesh have it why not them??They are much spirited,fighting and talented side than Bangladesh will ever be.

  • POSTED BY BUTT_093 on | February 10, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    Just the kind of contest that I had prayed for before the match. Afghanistan showed flair in every department of the game (save fielding) and helped produce some exciting cricket. Kudos to them and hopefully they will get more international games against Full Member nations in the future.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    Some of the wickets lost to Afridi were, well, very Afridi-esque. But for those shots and that ridiculous runout, Afghanistan would have posted 240-250.

    Still, love the Afghan team and loved their audacity and spirit in this first ODI against a test nation.

    And can Cricinfo PLEASE put up a picture of Ajmal's face as he watches THAT reverse sweep disappear for 6 :).

    Overall a great day for a Pakistani fan and hugh supporter of Afghan cricket like me.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Well played Afghanistan!!! I am very proud of the way Afghans played today and that's how we take everything(seriously). Even though we didn't have the experiences of the likes of younis khan, Misbah and Afridi but we played to a certain level that would many cricket lovers/experts proud. Even many Pakistanis are leaving a positive feedback along with others so the signs are that Afghanistan is going to win lot of people's hearts with this spirited-approach which some might argue that it's carefree approach at this level. Give Afghans some more matches as much as ICC is giving to below-par Bangladesh and Zimbabwe then see in a matter of few years how do we compete against the big boys!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    i have no idea what shoaib mailk is doing in this team can any one tell me any reason for him being in team in he hit his last 100 about 3 years ago and after that in next 17 inngs his highest score is about 37 , he i have seen him playing recently against bangladesh he seem clue less how to score runs , why pakistan team have to suffer a specilist wicket keeper to play him in team ,

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 10, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    ICC stop being soo lame. Afghanistan needs to play MORE!!! as a hardcore Pakistani supporter I found myself supporting Afghanistan. They have some great cricketers and could become a great one day side. Afghanistan needs to play a full odi series against Pakistan that would be great.

  • POSTED BY Rolling_in_The_Deep on | February 10, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    really impressed by Handling of Ajmal by Afghan Batsmen.. England must be watching this.. good Job.. they are far better team than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.. specially bangladesh should learn from these folks..

  • POSTED BY Grayark on | February 10, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    well done Afghanistan. good showing.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    afghanistan had 16000 suporters where pakistan has 1000 suporters in sharjah today

  • POSTED BY kangaroussy on | February 10, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Wow, dannymania, that's a little mean spirited. I remember watching Sri Lanka when they first started coming to Australia in the mid 80's and regularly getting flogged. Back when 230 was a huge ODI score, they were losing by almost that much! I think a little indulgence is deserved, and pretty soon might have another sub-continental team for England to lose to :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Just 1 pathan against the 11..... Job done :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    good work by Afghanistan, this was never going to be much of a contest because Afghanistan, though talented, is too raw but they showed the kind of commitment that teams like Bangladesh lack, never gave up, if they keep this up and with assistance from PCB, I'm sure ere long they'll be competing against the big boys

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    an overall good performance and a rather belowpar by tha Pak counterparts !! anyhow missed the 200 runs on board of this epic AfPak encounter!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    shoaib malik no doubt was a good player but now i dont think so he might b a good option.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Wow...impressed...Afghanistan puts in more competition than the English.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Well Done and keep it up Afghanistan...:)

  • POSTED BY Hammad-Hasan on | February 10, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    England should learn from Afghan cricketers how to play Saeed Ajmal :D

  • POSTED BY BowledYa on | February 10, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    I see Younis getting passed over again for man of the match. I thought his classic century in the 3rd test deserved the award, and his 70 not out in this match. Had he played tests as much as some of the Indian batsmen he surely would be one of the greatest ever. Looking forward to watching many more from the great Younis!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    Afghanistan's Team is surely doing great. I am amused and joyed over their performance against Pakistan. Their Confidence was very great thing to see. From A Pakistani

  • POSTED BY Ajmal-yousafzai on | February 10, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    Dont worry afghanistan first game not bad well don. Afghanistan batted better than england anways. if afridi wasn't palying this game afghanistan could easly score over 250 but they wanted to hit afridi like afridi........thank u pakistan for giving us a chance --

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Good performance by Afghan and Afridi - Poor Pak Captaincy, Hamad should be in .... Umar, Afridi and Shoaib Mailk should be playing 3,4,5 - as they made for one day and they need match practice...... Don't know WHEN Misbah give up middle order position as he doesn't know how to take single and rotate ends ..... simply pile the pressure on whole batting line up, it is not test cricket and defence approach cost us WC and now hurdle for youngster to Shine!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Very well played by Afghanistan! It was fun watching, especially the lack of respect shown to the Pakistani spinners, reverse sweeping Ajmal for 6 was the height of impudence! I wish Afghanistan had played with England too! We would have loved to watch that and KP would have got a full gallery to play too! :D

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | February 10, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    i dont really think that the afghanis are good enough for international cricket at this stage.yes,they're a good team and their spirit has to be praised.but is it really enough to be in the international reckoning?the way i see it,it was a real good batting pitch with nothing for the faster bowlers and very little for spinners.I saw a lot in the afghans,the positives were their intent to enjoy the game,their fighting spirit and their yearn to compete.the negatives were,their sluggishness in the field,for instance the dropped catches,the over throws.they have talent,but not enough.i dont think they're ready for international cricket right now.they should have matches against teams like themselves,bangladesh etc,before they could even think about playing against pakistan.it was their good luck that pakistan didnt bat first when the batting conditions were perfect,and bowl second when the bowling conditions were better(In the lights).they didnt impress me much,to be honest.

  • POSTED BY zoheb12 on | February 10, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    The two pathans have knocked over afghanis lets knock over the english now great work keep it up

  • POSTED BY Sameer_235 on | February 10, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Nice game in the end! Though I am a Pakistani supporter, but was stunned to watch the Afghan's commitment in the game, specially in the field and bowling. The top scene of the game was the six hammered off Ajmal's delivery over extra cover by Mohammad Shahzad, and as usual Boom Boom giving his best in the bowling department!!! Best wishes to Afghanistan for bright future in ICC world, and best of luck to Pakistani team for their upcoming ODI series againt English!! in the end Pakistan Zindabad :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Oh God how can we getrid of Imran Farhat?

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 10, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    NOOOOOO!

    Why did Farhat and Younis perform well and now It'll be another 20 innings until both of them even reach fifties again.

    Malik is useless and someone like Hammad is a much better option with his ability to clear the ropes along with his canny medium pace.

  • POSTED BY BowledYa on | February 10, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Well done, Afghanistan, from your brothers in Pakistan. Keep it up and you surely will become more competitive as you gain experience. And a little show of gratitude to the country where you play, get coaching from and experience, will show your class.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    IF OUR [BAN] DEVELOPMENT RATE REMAINS SAME FOR THE NEXT 3-YEARS...THEY WILL BEAT US 3-2 IN 2015....

  • POSTED BY wnwn on | February 10, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    The Afghan batsmen played Ajmal better than most of the English batsmen. One even reverse swept him for 6. Afghanistan have got some great hitters and decent fast bowlers and if they learn to take the one's and two's they can compete with anyone. They look a lot better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Welcome to the Big Leagues, Afghanistan! Hope to be seeing your brand of Cricket playing with the rest of the big Boys. To help them develop further ICC should arrange more matches and even series for these guys starting off with a direct head to head with West Indies and Especially Bangladesh, a team that will match up well with Afghanistan. If they fare well , then cut the red tape and let them be full members and bring back the FUN in CRICKET!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Sounds like an excellent match. It wont be long before Afghanistan are defeating test playing nations judging by this show. The "old" Pakistan may well have caved in with the pressure but not the new version. Calm heads and cool play win matches. As for England, they ought to really really worry about Afridi. I dont rate him highly as a batsman anymore, but what a devastating bowler! If you cant play spin well, I cant think of anything worse than THREE World Class spinners pitted against you. I would play all 3 spinners and Umar Gul as the sole seamer against England.

  • POSTED BY Midnight_Rider on | February 10, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Pathan: "This Zadran guy runs in from the boundary and his delivery is still slower than Afridi's faster ball off 3 paces. Imagine if Afridi was a fast bowler. He would be hitting 160kph."

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  • POSTED BY Midnight_Rider on | February 10, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Pathan: "This Zadran guy runs in from the boundary and his delivery is still slower than Afridi's faster ball off 3 paces. Imagine if Afridi was a fast bowler. He would be hitting 160kph."

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    Sounds like an excellent match. It wont be long before Afghanistan are defeating test playing nations judging by this show. The "old" Pakistan may well have caved in with the pressure but not the new version. Calm heads and cool play win matches. As for England, they ought to really really worry about Afridi. I dont rate him highly as a batsman anymore, but what a devastating bowler! If you cant play spin well, I cant think of anything worse than THREE World Class spinners pitted against you. I would play all 3 spinners and Umar Gul as the sole seamer against England.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Welcome to the Big Leagues, Afghanistan! Hope to be seeing your brand of Cricket playing with the rest of the big Boys. To help them develop further ICC should arrange more matches and even series for these guys starting off with a direct head to head with West Indies and Especially Bangladesh, a team that will match up well with Afghanistan. If they fare well , then cut the red tape and let them be full members and bring back the FUN in CRICKET!

  • POSTED BY wnwn on | February 10, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    The Afghan batsmen played Ajmal better than most of the English batsmen. One even reverse swept him for 6. Afghanistan have got some great hitters and decent fast bowlers and if they learn to take the one's and two's they can compete with anyone. They look a lot better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    IF OUR [BAN] DEVELOPMENT RATE REMAINS SAME FOR THE NEXT 3-YEARS...THEY WILL BEAT US 3-2 IN 2015....

  • POSTED BY BowledYa on | February 10, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Well done, Afghanistan, from your brothers in Pakistan. Keep it up and you surely will become more competitive as you gain experience. And a little show of gratitude to the country where you play, get coaching from and experience, will show your class.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 10, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    NOOOOOO!

    Why did Farhat and Younis perform well and now It'll be another 20 innings until both of them even reach fifties again.

    Malik is useless and someone like Hammad is a much better option with his ability to clear the ropes along with his canny medium pace.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Oh God how can we getrid of Imran Farhat?

  • POSTED BY Sameer_235 on | February 10, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Nice game in the end! Though I am a Pakistani supporter, but was stunned to watch the Afghan's commitment in the game, specially in the field and bowling. The top scene of the game was the six hammered off Ajmal's delivery over extra cover by Mohammad Shahzad, and as usual Boom Boom giving his best in the bowling department!!! Best wishes to Afghanistan for bright future in ICC world, and best of luck to Pakistani team for their upcoming ODI series againt English!! in the end Pakistan Zindabad :)

  • POSTED BY zoheb12 on | February 10, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    The two pathans have knocked over afghanis lets knock over the english now great work keep it up