Asian Games 2010, 1st semi-final, Guangzhou November 25, 2010

Afghanistan upset Pakistan to reach final

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 125 for 8 (Noori 35) beat Pakistan 103 for 7 (Latif 26) by 22 runs

Afghanistan stunned a second-string Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Games in Guangzhou to continue their fairytale run in cricket over the past two years. This victory assures them of at least a silver, boosting the medals tally of a nation that has only two medals - both in taekwondo - in the Asian Games.

They will face Bangladesh, who beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the second semi-final, in Friday's title match.

It's been a low-scoring tournament so far, and Afghanistan's 125, after being sent in, was a competitive total. Eighteen-year-old Shabir Noori top scored with 35 to revive Afghanistan after they had slid to 55 for 4, but another bunch of wickets towards the end prevented a big final push.

Pakistan's opening pair, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, began the chase in a hurry, racing to 30 off three overs, seemingly setting the platform for a straightforward victory. Sharjeel then fell lbw to Mirwaiz Ashraf for 23, but Latif guided Pakistan to 60 for 1. There was a heated exchange between Latif and Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad, which needed the umpires to intervene. Latif was then dismissed lbw, and Naeemuddin Qazi was run out soon after, and two wickets in an over from offspinner Karim Sadiq left Pakistan at 68 for 5.

With the asking-rate mounting, the Pakistan lower-order was unable to find the boundary and Afghanistan completed a famous upset.

"It's a big win for Afghanistan," their captain Mohammad Nabi said. "Every person there is watching the match and everybody is happy about this win. I'm very satisfied because we have fantastic fitness levels and the boys have worked very hard in every position, whether it's fielding, bowling or batting. "

The vice-captain, Sadiq, said the whole the country was behind the team. "On TV last night in Afghanistan, they told people to pray that we would win," he said. "Tonight they will be celebrating all over the country. It's a dream for us."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Faisal on November 27, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    congratulation to the afghan team. A win is a win certainly, be it against Pakistan A or Pakistan Z but i am shocked at the arrogance shown by some supporters. Instead of being thankful to Pakistans help and assistance, they have lost their sanity to say that they can take down any test playing nation by just winning a gold medal?? probably but i dont see it happening in less than a dozen centuries!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Well done Afghan's it is always good to see that cricket is taken seriously in Afghanistan. A match is a match and there is no love lost when Afghanistan beat Pakistan. All those Pakistanis who are acting immaturely towards this win should understand that Afghanistan has suddenly come into the scene and from a low position went up the ladder to compete in a World Cup. Pakistan should support this team and it is through Kabir Khan's efforts.

    Well done Afghanistan, go and win the title.

    By the way I am a Pakistani but was very happy to see Afghanistan move to the final.

    Loy Afghanistan all the way :)

  • Hamza on November 26, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Thanks to Mr. Rashid Latif

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Beating a very very low string team from pakistan, doesnt means that afghan team is any where near to pakistan. Grow up kids. Ur so called talented batsman wont even see the bowl, if bowled by Shoaib and company. learn more, and may be after 80-90 years you will be able to beat Pakistan 10 string team. Lolzz

  • Pavan on November 26, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    It will be the greatest win for Afghanistan cricket, since they have never won a Gold medal in the Asian Games.

  • Nurul on November 26, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    the win of Afghanistan is significance for south asia cz another nation is coming in Cricket world. I congratulate them.

  • Musa on November 26, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    i am very happy that agian our team show that Afghan people are able to elimenat such teams like pakistan . i want from my people to pray that our team win the the final and score the golden stage .

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    I wont be surprized to see Afghanistan defeating Bangladesh. They have power, momentum and clear objective to win.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    First of all i would like to congredulate the afghan nation and afghan cricket team for their hard work ,good performence and as well as would like to congredulate the coach of afghan team for his storng commetment with the team ,and finaly he got the result of his commetment and coaching which is to be appreciated. and I hope that,the team will keep and maintin their hard working and understanding to achive a biger success in the final with bangladish ,and make the whole nation happy ,good luck ,and best wishes to all team and nation,

  • Faisal Mashood on November 25, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    great stuff by Afghanistan!! I am seriously alarmed at some of the comments here. Beating any team from Pakistan is a huge achievement for Afghanistan. A win is a win, hopefully in a couple of years they will be good enough to beat official Pakistan.

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