Afghanistan v England, World T20 2016, Group 1, Delhi March 23, 2016

Afghanistan were '100%' set on winning - Rashid

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'Wanted to restrict England to below 100' - Rashid

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan's teenage legspinner, believed "100%" that his team were on course for victory over England after they had claimed six wickets in the first 10 overs of their contest at Delhi. Instead, England recovered to post 142 for 7 and close out a victory that confirmed Afghanistan's elimination from the tournament.

"We thought we had our game at 100%," Rashid said. "But they played good cricket at the end, and that's why they took the game away from us."

After selecting four spinners and a solitary quick bowler in Shapoor Zadran, Afghanistan had designs on keeping their opponents to below 100. England had slipped to 57 for 6 and 85 for 7 before Moeen Ali and David Willey revived the pre-match favourites with an unbroken 57-run stand, allowing them to survive going toe-to-toe with Afghanistan.

"We planned to play simple cricket and see what happened," Rashid said. "On that time, we thought we have to restrict them to under 100, we tried our best to restrict them under 100, but unfortunately they played good cricket, especially Moeen Ali, so they made it to 140."

In reply, Afghanistan stuttered to 13 for 3 after three overs, which included the dismissal of their star batsman Mohammad Shahzad, for 4. Despite losing regular wickets, they still managed to take the game to the wire, Shafiqullah's unbeaten 35 from 20 balls capping a spirited fightback that meant England could not be sure of victory until the final few deliveries.

"We didn't start well, but we did well in the middle, we took responsibility," said Rashid, who was promoted to No. 5 and made 15 in only his fourth T20I innings. "It was a good game, a close game, we will learn from it and in the future we will not repeat the same mistakes."

Afghanistan may not be able to qualify for the semi-finals after three defeats from three in Group 1 but they will have one more chance to finish the tournament with victory over a Full Member when they take on West Indies in Nagpur on Sunday.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets @miller_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on March 24, 2016, 14:56 GMT

    @ M Ahmadzai The four Zadrans' are not related and Asghar Stanikzai is a proven winner. Please keep the negative (IndoPak) style comments regarding cricket and nepotism away from this forum.

    Afghan players are improving and that is why 17 year old Rashid was selected and a player like Mirwais Ashraf was dropped. Be patient and you will see better performances from these players that you disrespect. Be proud of our team and encourage their spirit, not denigrate them.

  • Afgun_Mujahid on March 24, 2016, 10:16 GMT

    England showed be grateful to the umpire who didn't give out instead gave run to England otherwise moen ali was out by shapoor

  • M.Ahmadzai on March 24, 2016, 9:24 GMT

    I have followed Afghan cricket in past 5 years, thier batting lack techniq, to be honest most of them stands in the crease as a bowler having bat in hands for the first time! non of them look like a batsman, except Najib zadran, and slogplayer Shezad,Nabi, these two are not expected to be players with lots of techniq rather just smash out the ball. Afghanistan cricket board has selected thier relatives in the team, thats why u have five Zadrans, and stanikzais !!

  • Alibaba2016 on March 23, 2016, 20:50 GMT

    What your are missing from this article is that Rashid said that they need more cricket with teams like England. Afghans didn't have experience to handle the pressure. If they play more, they will provide better cricket. Good job Afghans!!!

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