Afghanistan v Australia, only ODI, Sharjah August 25, 2012

Australia secure win despite Stanikzai heroics

105

Australia 272 for 8 (Clarke 75, Wade 75) beat Afghanistan 206 (Stanikzai 66, Starc 4-47) by 66 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball report

It was a historic night for Afghanistan, being just their second taste of elite one-day international cricket, but any hopes of a fairy-tale victory were dashed by the reality as they were eventually outgunned by an Australia side featuring some of the best cricketers in the world.

But the key word is eventually, as Afghanistan proved a more than worthy opponent capable of exposing flaws in this Australia side during a spirited run chase.

Australia were in control thanks to the contrasting styles of Matthew Wade and Michael Clarke, who each posted 75, and the indefatigable Michael Hussey (49), as they set an impressive total of 273 on a sluggish surface in oppressive conditions, before the pace and swing of Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson ripped through the Afghanistan top order to leave them reeling at 49 for 4.

But this team that has ascended from rubble, through lowly ICC division five cricket to the World Twenty20, showed its incredible fighting spirit, exemplified by Asghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi.

The pair combined for 86 to send shudders through the Australia camp, mainly because of the momentum gathered along the way. Nabi, having earlier claimed two wickets with his crafty offspin, took a shining to Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell, clubbing three sixes off the two Australia tweakers. Stanikzai chimed in with a slog-sweep of his own and although they did not turn the strike over as a professional side would the scoreboard moved at a very healthy rate.

It forced Clarke into a rethink, having to turn back to Starc. His pace again unsettled the Afghanistan pair and saw Stanikzai offer a sharp chance to mid-on where George Bailey could not hang on. From there Nabi and Stanikzai added 40 in just 36 balls before Mitchell Johnson bowled Nabi through the gate from around the wicket. Nonetheless the partnership left Australia ragged and rattled. Stanikzai progressed to a well deserved half-century as he bravely battled cramp and fatigue.

Clarke again called on Starc in the batting Powerplay. The left-arm quick conceded three boundaries to Stanikzai before the captain took a terrific catch at midwicket to end one of the best innings by an Afghan in ODI cricket and effectively end the match. Starc finished with four wickets and was comfortably the pick of the Australia bowlers.

Earlier, after one look at a pitch that resembled a strip of shiny concrete in the middle of the Sharjah Association Ground, Clarke did not hesitate in electing to bat first. His assertion that the wicket looked good for batting, if a little slow, proved prophetic as both Australia openers wrestled with their timing early. Wade, re-acquainting himself with opening in the absence of Shane Watson, found timing particularly hard to come by against the accurate and consistent new-ball pairing of Shapoor Zadran and Dawlat Zadran.

David Warner found the going a little easier when he was offered some width from Shapoor. He also took the chance to club the left-armer down the ground. But Shapoor was rewarded for his shorter length when Warner edged an attempted cut to a ball a fraction close, to hand Afghanistan their first wicket inside seven overs.

Enter the captain at first drop, a familiar sight for Australia fans in years past, but a rare venture for Clarke. It is only the fifth time he has batted at No. 3 since he succeeded Ricky Ponting as the full-time captain.

Clarke took his time to assess the surface but his fluency and class were quickly unveiled. An effortless straight-drive for four was a cut-above anything Warner and Wade had played on a surface lacking pace and an outfield lacking speed. Although he only struck three fours and two sixes in his 75, Clarke's footwork and placement were a feature throughout as he handled the spinners comfortably.

Wade was anything but comfortable throughout his 108-ball stay. The suffocating heat of the UAE, with temperatures hovering above 34 degrees Celsius well after sunset, looked to be getting the better of Wade. But he stuck to his task admirably to register his highest ODI score and provide the perfect foil to Clarke as they combined for a 131-run stand.

They were undone by Afghanistan's most experienced spinners in Samiullah Shenwari and Nabi. Shenwari's wrist spin was particularly good, save for two rank full tosses that were both dispatched by Clarke. He should have claimed both wickets, having had Wade dropped by his captain Nawroz Mangal at midwicket on 32. Wade eventually fell to a sharp return catch by the offspinner Nabi, before Shenwari became only the sixth man in ODIs to spin one past the advancing blade of Clarke to have the Australia captain stumped.

Australia's debutant, Victoria allrounder Glenn Maxwell, was promoted to No. 4 during the batting Powerplay without success. He holed out to long-on for just 2 before the Hussey brothers did what the Hussey brothers do to tick the total beyond 200. But a brilliant piece of fielding from Gulbodin Naib to run out David hindered Australia's progression momentarily, before Michael showed how valuable he still is to this outfit with a finishing flurry that only he could have compiled.

Hussey and Bailey combined for 53 in five overs. The purity of their striking was made even more impressive by the fact that the wicket was getting progressively slower. It was the third time in four innings that this duo have posted 50 or more together.

It was a night of firsts all-round. Not only was it the first meeting between these two nations, it was also the first time Australia were involved in a match in which both 50-over innings were completed under moonlight. The Afghanistan players also took prayer breaks at both drinks junctures as well as the innings break, something also foreign to this Australia side.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 28, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    it was a march and we are happy that afg played very will

  • samiullah.sohail on August 28, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Well done boys, thank you so much Aus cricket, lose and win is not importent for us, we need more improvement in beating side, the time will come that we will chase 400 score, india and pakistan dont want to play with us they know how dengrous our players are, sixes and 4rs, i am sure that next year they will want to play with aus to improve thier cricket also. we afghans are thankfull of Aus and thier team for thier support.

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    @Biggus - there is more than a hint of Waqar.

  • on August 27, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    My Dear Heros i remember those days when you were at Jersey for Division 5 matches not far away just 5Years before you had not enough money to stay in 5Star hotel or eat in high class hotels i remember that you guys were just eating French fries this is the result of your fought and hard working

  • Biggus on August 27, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    @Meety-Yep, I saw that, "Out of the Ashes", pretty great stuff it was. Is it just me, or does their quickie Dawlat Zadran have an action and physique uncannily like Waqar Younis? I had to look twice to make sure he hadn't come out of retirement to play for Afghanistan.

  • ajaygodbole on August 27, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Afghan team should be invited to play Ranji Trophy to get good practice of first class cricket, they are a promising side

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @Biggus - their star bowler was absent (Hamid Hassan), whilst he is not overly quick, his last game was against England in a tour match - he had 2/30ish, the 2 wickets were (either Cook or Strauss) & Trott. From what I understand, a lot of their best players learnt cricket in the Refugee camps on the Paki border. They seem to win a lot of games from near impossible positions. Forgotten the name, but the documentary on their rise to the T20 W/Cup qualification was very inspiring!

  • on August 27, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    the Afghan team played very well against world champion Australia, Although Afghan team do not have the facilities to do training as the other countries do, but still we appreciate their talent,,Thanks to ICC and Aus...

  • Biggus on August 27, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    @Meety-Couldn't agree more mate. To be counter-punching with one of the power sides in world cricket within 10 years of setting the game up (presumably again, since I'm assuming they had some contact with the game before the previous regime outlawed fun) defies all normal expectations of what would be considered reasonable progress. I reckon it's great and I'm glad our board saw fit to arrange the game. We may live to regret it as you say. Historically the Afghan people have had a formidable reputation (just ask the British) and if this translates to the cricket field they will be a handful indeed. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see some scary quick bowlers in years to come.

  • on August 27, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    a good moment for afghan palyers no pro that lost or we win the match but geting ready for the futer

  • on August 28, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    it was a march and we are happy that afg played very will

  • samiullah.sohail on August 28, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Well done boys, thank you so much Aus cricket, lose and win is not importent for us, we need more improvement in beating side, the time will come that we will chase 400 score, india and pakistan dont want to play with us they know how dengrous our players are, sixes and 4rs, i am sure that next year they will want to play with aus to improve thier cricket also. we afghans are thankfull of Aus and thier team for thier support.

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    @Biggus - there is more than a hint of Waqar.

  • on August 27, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    My Dear Heros i remember those days when you were at Jersey for Division 5 matches not far away just 5Years before you had not enough money to stay in 5Star hotel or eat in high class hotels i remember that you guys were just eating French fries this is the result of your fought and hard working

  • Biggus on August 27, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    @Meety-Yep, I saw that, "Out of the Ashes", pretty great stuff it was. Is it just me, or does their quickie Dawlat Zadran have an action and physique uncannily like Waqar Younis? I had to look twice to make sure he hadn't come out of retirement to play for Afghanistan.

  • ajaygodbole on August 27, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Afghan team should be invited to play Ranji Trophy to get good practice of first class cricket, they are a promising side

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    @Biggus - their star bowler was absent (Hamid Hassan), whilst he is not overly quick, his last game was against England in a tour match - he had 2/30ish, the 2 wickets were (either Cook or Strauss) & Trott. From what I understand, a lot of their best players learnt cricket in the Refugee camps on the Paki border. They seem to win a lot of games from near impossible positions. Forgotten the name, but the documentary on their rise to the T20 W/Cup qualification was very inspiring!

  • on August 27, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    the Afghan team played very well against world champion Australia, Although Afghan team do not have the facilities to do training as the other countries do, but still we appreciate their talent,,Thanks to ICC and Aus...

  • Biggus on August 27, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    @Meety-Couldn't agree more mate. To be counter-punching with one of the power sides in world cricket within 10 years of setting the game up (presumably again, since I'm assuming they had some contact with the game before the previous regime outlawed fun) defies all normal expectations of what would be considered reasonable progress. I reckon it's great and I'm glad our board saw fit to arrange the game. We may live to regret it as you say. Historically the Afghan people have had a formidable reputation (just ask the British) and if this translates to the cricket field they will be a handful indeed. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see some scary quick bowlers in years to come.

  • on August 27, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    a good moment for afghan palyers no pro that lost or we win the match but geting ready for the futer

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @Biggus - great comment. There was basically no cricket in Afghanistan at the turn of the century. In barely 10 yrears, to have done what they've done is mind boggling. Imagine what they'd be like in another ten years!!!!!

  • MattyP1979 on August 27, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Looking at the Aus side at the moment does make me wonder how they are too climb the rankings again. Starc always bowls his heart our and Pattenson's career needs to be carefully managed. But Aus do seem to have a reliance on 2/3 batsman right now both in ODI and Tests. In tests 2 of these 3 are 98 years old. On the plus Wade looks an impressive lad and is improving with the gloves all the time. Looking forward to the PAK game and should be a good contest.

  • anver777 on August 27, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    Though Aussies won comfortably in the end... but the honors must go to Afganistan Playing 1st time against Aus & scoring over 200 against their bowling attack is admirable !!!!!!!!!

  • on August 27, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    well,well, you played superb cricket, proud of you guys, hope the other full member team will give us opportunity to perform...as we proved we are one of the best of side to play against good sides.....

  • Biggus on August 27, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    How wonderful is it that the Afghanis have experienced this extraordinary rise in the game in such a short time? It is a testament to these people, who have been through so much in recent times, that they have been able to do so, and it fills me with admiration for their spirit. Whether or not they won wasn't really relevant. Congratulations Afghanistan I say, we Aussies are really impressed with your fighting spirit and it has been a pleasure to watch. Silly old romantics like me like to think that there is more to cricket than just the game and moments like this make us feel we are correct in this belief. Whatever else may be wrong in Afghanistan this story is a small antidote to the constant stream of news in the western media that tends to portray all Afghanis as crazed lunatic terrorists.

  • Meety on August 27, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    @Wozza-CY - mate as obviously I'm not a member of the squad so everything I said was an assumption. I agree that pinch hitting roles have historically failed, although I think it is an area to exploit given the powerplays. I say that because players are now use to (due to T20s) coming in & slogging, so there is opportunity for a batsmen who has a knack of scoring heavily to utilise a powerplay - particulalrly if there are plenty of batting resources still in the kitty. I would LIKE to ASSUME that players are aware of their roles in an International cricket side, although matches are often dynamic & so a lot of plans or strategies evolve over the course of 50 overs.

  • Wozza-CY on August 26, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    @ meety- thanks for clearing that up, still, IMO pinch hitters rarely work (even rarer when they are debutants). It tells me our team members will be unsure of their roles if the decision group change things mid- match. Each plater shoul know their role pre-game to give them the best possible chance to prepare.

  • Nerk on August 26, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Yet again, Afghanistan have proved themselves at this level. I feel that their first win against a full member is not far away, and if this team continues to develop the way they have done over the last few years, they will be real contenders over the coming years. Please ICC, arrange more matches for them!

  • on August 26, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Afghans did rather well to limit Oz to 273.They are working well to close the gap to the permanent members but for them to play ODIs against test playing nations on a regular basis is still a quixotic assumption.Pakistan,unsurprisingly,took the initiative by playing the first ever ODI with Afghanistan.There's no reason why the associates and affiliates shouldnt play more T20 cricket though.The only associate member realistically closing in on permanent membership in ICC is Ireland.So the ICC should come up with a provision to allow associate and affiliate teams to not only play more T20 Internationals with the top 10 teams but an increased opportunity to play one-off ODIs with the top teams should also help to proliferate and enhance interest for cricket in the non-cricketing countries.Pakistan also made the right move by allowing not only Afghanistan but also Hong Kong to use its cricket infrastructure.The other 9 members should take similar steps to expedite cricket's development

  • RamaAf-Gun on August 26, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    welll i give credit to afghan players for their perforemence... they played a gainst a team that can give hard time to any team in the world. so yeah well done to australia and good for afghanistan's future... they need to learn one simple thing nd that is never put 4 u-19 players in the team...

  • on August 26, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Afghanistan take full advantage and learn a lot from Australia we thanks to ICC and Australia to arrange the matches with us we hope from ICC to support Afghanistan and all other international full members team to play with us. We really happy from ICC but it will be more good if it were three matches or a series between Afghanistan and Australia we hope from ICC and all other full members team to launch more matches with Afghanistan and make it a series match or playing three matches with Afghanistan it will be more essential for Afghanistan and it will prove Afghanistan how to play in the next match after the lost. it will be more good if ICC and other full members team launch three matches or three ODI with Afghanistan. Hope so from ICC and full member in next time to play three ODI with Afghanistan. It will be more interesting and the cricket will be more popular all over the world but especially in Afghanistan. Every people every where will enjoying crickets. Thanks

  • on August 26, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    @Lajber Ali I think you're being a little too harsh on them. I think they played well. Yes there may be a number of areas of improvement, but that's what they are playing these games for...they have barely had any experience playing against the top teams. It will take time for them to develop the skills both mentally and tactically they need to have success at international level. They are doing very well and in the short time that they have popped up on the international scene I feel they have progressed very far in a short space of time.

    It will do them good if they play against teams like Ireland and Bangladesh more often, as well as giving those two teams some food for thought.

  • on August 26, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    afg the best team. aus team was very storg mind and very storg team. but afg team very beautiful game with aus. thanks and welldone afg team.

  • on August 26, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Afghanistan a remarkable playing against Australia the world number 1 team. It was a famous and historical game for Afghanistan and Australia. I really impressed from Afghanistan performance what a performance it was especially the 4 wicket batting it was really amazing than i was expected from an affiliate team Afghanistan. The Asghar Stanikzai making 66 runs was huge effort and register his half century against no.1 team Australia. Mohammad Nabi 46 while four sixes and three fours was absolutely unbelievable batting from Afghanistan and it seems to be winning of Afghanistan side but unfortunately early wickets gone which was little hard for Afghanistan to chase but although it was really good to make 206 runs against Australia no.1 team in the world. Afghanistan was near to beat Australia what game played from Afghanistan side mostly sixes and fours even then Australia did. We really enjoyed this match.. I appreciate the Performance of Afghanistan against world no.1 team. well done.

  • on August 26, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan ! I think PCB should host Afghanistan for 3 ODI series in Pakistan. That would be beneficial for both teams. Go Afghanistan :-)

  • Great_Sport_Games on August 26, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Just look at the Australian body language, don't deserve to be rated amongst the top teams.

  • on August 26, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    It was past midnight but Nabi and co made sure people stay up and watch the whole proceedings. @ The_Wog: The Afghans have learnt much of their cricket in Pakistan. They were also invited to play our domestic t20 tournament. Pakistan was also their first ODI opponent, during England's tour to the UAE last year.

  • Meety on August 26, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Lajber Ali - I think you're a bit harsh on your team. They competed the whole way through. Have a look at some of the results in the last world cup (or any W/Cup for that matter) to see what sort of hising can be handed out in ODIs.

  • on August 26, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    To me a very disappointed performance by our team. They did not play like professional as they had to do when playing with the world best team. They played with no patience; the top-order did not try for partnership. Everybody was trying for unnecessary boundary and did not play with a match wining idea. The same mistake was repeated as they made when playing with South Africa and Pakistan. One short-pitch (that hit Karim) had a very bad impact on our top order. They had lost moral and were running away from wickets. They did not judge the ball in some cases and lack of footwork cost them losing the stumps. Any way it is not only the player that I have to blame but also the coach and management. They should have prepared a strong team from senior players against Australia. Left handers batsmen should be recruited to our team which is a very good assets for playing international cricket.

  • Azooz-Afgfan on August 26, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Lollz!!! MS Mohd Shehzad's Remarkable Stumping was Gorgeous!!! Afghanz are Adventures..

  • on August 26, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Why are some people behaving a bit silly here it was a mismatch, I agree Afghanistan and the other associates should get plenty of opportunity but Afghanistan will never play Test Cricket simply because of Number 1, they have very little money to afford such things, Number 2, security is very very high in the country and so on but I'm sure this Afghanistan side is good enough to knock out India next month :D

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 26, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    The strides Afghanistan have taken are amazing and they certainly werent out of place in this match. They pushed Australia all the way and were always on the verge of causing a big problem for them. Hopefully they will get more games at a higher level and I expect them to progress quickly. Australia are still suffering from their problem of batsmen getting a start and not taking charge when theyve done the hard bit. They will continue to drop in the rankings in all formats if they cant sort this out especially against better teams. Good learning experience for Australia in difficult physical conditions though. Starc continues to impress. I see him as a big player especially at Test level where he MUST be picked.

  • on August 26, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Meety on August 26, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    @Wozza-CY - I think the promotion to #4 was more to do with the match state, (Powerplay) & the general need to up the R/Rate. I don't think his failing is much of an issue, as I think he was a pinch hitter!

  • Sinhaya on August 26, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    @Fast_Track_Bully, Pakistan are no "ordinary"! They are beyond great! Have a look at their recent record before talking nonsense.

  • Super_Cricketer on August 26, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    @huttse96, I think PNG does not have the quality to play with Australia. First they need to beat teams like AFG, IRE, NETH, KEN, SCL, NAM and CAN. Once they become top team in the associate level, we can think about arranging match against Australia...Hope that happens one day....

  • on August 26, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Great for afghans Playing such a good game and good score with that much little experience. Thanks to Aussies for giving chance to afghans to play with them.

  • on August 26, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Afghanistan played well & they need more matches to play with the test nation the ICC have to support them, thanks from AUS to had match with afgh

  • on August 26, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    well played by Afghans, I give credit to Nabi and Asghar .

  • on August 26, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    I think Afghanistan played quite impressive..the only weakness is batting...otherwise fielding and bowling is quite comparable with better cricket teams...Thanks Australia for playing with Afghans..and hope other full members of ICC also play with Afghanistan...Thanks for All the supporters of Afghan cricket team all over the world

  • GeoffBoycottsGrandmother on August 26, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    How long can Mike Hussey carry this weak Aussie batting? When he goes the trouble really starts for Australia.

  • on August 26, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Well Played Afghanistan with such a major, need some matches with test nations

  • AzeemullahZahiri on August 26, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    I am sure that Afghanistan can beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and they can fight with other countries as well and i wish that one day Afghanistan will have more matches with different countries.

  • AKS286 on August 26, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Well played Afghanistan. Afghan, Irish & namibia are real next talents. for upcoming 4 yrs these team will get test spot. I believe if NZ or WI can also score 207 or even less but not more than that in this match. again WELL played AFGHAN good luck for future.

  • on August 26, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    u keep impressing ..... gr8 work afghans continue this form

  • on August 26, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Great Job Afghans you have the ability of playing first class circket, and thanks from Aussies for playing with Afghans

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 26, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Good show by Afgan. If they can play like this against the 'ordinary' neighbor, they will definitely win. And few wins can give them a test status too. I hope BCCI will support Afgan for this.

  • on August 26, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    Well Deserve, Very Good Performance, I was thinking may be AUS, will give target of 350+. but AFG did well, their Bowling is good than batting, the major issue is batting for them, there is no expert batsman, the Captain Managal I never seen him to play well.

  • on August 26, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Thanks from Aussies playing with Afghans, Afghans showed the capability of playing with first class cricket nations ,and we want from the ICC management team to provide us more first class matches to improve our skills we have the talent, afghan team should improve their batting lineup,well done all the best......

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    we have shown the world that we have also the talent to play full member nation. we did request to Australian cricket board a few months ago to play with us. the checked the the bowling and also some biggies slapped out of the park. i hope the full members will play us, we can take over B dash and NL and some other nations easily. hope BCCI will circle some players for IPL,. thanks Aussies for the Match.

  • sawifan on August 26, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy, if this is pushed hard, what do you called what happened at the WC for ENG against the Dutch, and then ummm, Ireland... Hmmmm. Well played Afghanistan, may you get more opportunities in the future!

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Well done! Nawroz and company, they have shown that there is a talent and craze for the game, but there is lack of techniques and more exposure can improve that. ACB also need to polish that raw talent, arrange higher level coaching's, prepare camps in bouncy and grassy pitches, playing hock and pull shots, rotating strike and keeping score board moving. I think Kabir Khan is not on a level to coach them any more. They already learned lots from him but now we need to promote and hire higher level coaches.

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    if we see afghan young boys did very well but unfortunately they did not give a single runner to stanikzai to continoue his game and to win that match thanks

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    First of all, as an Afghan, I would like to wholeheartedly thank the Cricket Australia and ICC for giving our boys this big moment. It was a great match for us. This, indeed, would help in improving our talents. Second, our boys did a great job in limiting the Aussies to under 300. Our chase was not bad either. Though our top order really struggled, our mid-order with the likes of Nabi and Asghar showcased a fastastic piece of cricket, hitting more boundries than the Aussie side. Naib was great too by playing some superb shots of joy. For a minnow that has risen out of ashes and has come a long long way in just a decade, scoring 206 on the way to chase 272 against one of the top cricket teams in the world is a big achievement itself. It was a very good chance for us to know from our mistakes, improve em and get ready for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Bravo!

  • sayedH416 on August 26, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    I want to say thanks to Australia cricket board for playing with Afghanistan.The indians are our neighbor and they supposed to play with Afghanistan international games, but you win our hearts and the Asia games Afghanis support will be your side.You gain a huge support in the Asia against our neighbors teams.Now i request to Melburn cricket club to make Afghanistan tour for cricket games inside Afghanistan. They will find good security and Afghanistan will appreciate and remember their support for Afghanistan cricket.Cricket play three important roles Happiness,Unity and Money,but at the biginning stage if there is no money, playing with Afghanistan the other two will make them the great team in the world.Afghanis are known by hospitality and friendship when you see their hospitality and friendship,you will not care for money.

  • huttse96 on August 26, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Australia please play PNG

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Afganistan,very decipline side.they consided only 8 extras.played really well.Bravo!BTW Someone tell me It's a ODI or DDI!!!? :D

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    This is second ODI for Afghanistan guys, really played well against the world class team...this guys don''t afraid and very good self confidence ... Bright future for this guys & Afghan .

  • RandyOZ on August 26, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    @ RednWhiteArmy - welcome back, we missed you during the entire South African test series. Just to let you know, you got flogged 2-0 including the 5th worst defeat of all time, where you took a total of 2 wickets in the entire match.

  • on August 26, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    @one-eyed-but-keepinitreal - On the other hand, I thought Afghanistan were gravely disadvantaged by an outfield that got so slow as the night advanced that timing alone couldn't take them till the rope. In fact, many of the power shots also failed to reach the boundary. Maybe, it was the same factor of dew, or whatever, it was I am not able to put a finger on why that happened. SO, in the end, disadvantages/advantages cancelled out.

  • getsetgopk on August 26, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Very well played Afghanistan, we are all proud of you for the way you put up a fight against one of the best ODI side. Pakistan should arrange a 5 ODI match series against Afghanistan in Pak or UAE. Afghanistan needs help from its neighbors and they will definitely improve is a very short time.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on August 26, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    I have a feeling that Bangladesh better watch out they may lose their Test status to the Powerful Afghans!

  • on August 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    From Muzamil shah "watandost",

    Nice playing from Afghanistan cricket side, we hope that ICC will give chance to the Afghanistan cricket team in next time in some series and tournament with full membership teams, to learn some things from them and also increase Afghanistan cricket team members ability. Afghanistan cricket team has prove that they can play cricket against every team of the world, no one only.

    LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN AND LONG LIVE AFGHANISTAN CRICKET TEAM AND IT'S MEMBERS!!!

  • on August 26, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Well done brothers!!! You made us proud, The raining sixes shows your strength to glory, Some mistakes but it'll be figured out. Captain needs to think better while using his bowlers, Afghans missed a seamer to upset Aussies for less score, Like Aussies were 210 runs of 44 overs, Spinners did well so it was time for them to bowl remaining six overs to have a target of under 250 runs, Anyways it happens, Still was an aggressive run chase from our brave boys but the turning point was the great catch by clarke of Asghar! INSHALLAH our cricket will get better incase ICC give our players chances of playing IPL,BBL,BPL and SLPL or this kind of full member friendly matches so it's not far than to compete with full members pretty easily!

  • on August 26, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    well played Afghan tigers....both Afghanistan & Ireland should get test status soon...so that they can develop more!

  • on August 26, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Afghanistan has played a spectacular game last night, they were beyond the expectation, even they lost the game, we are proud of you Afghanistan cricket team and we love you.

  • on August 26, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Great job AFGHAN team. Thanks to ICC and Australia cricket board for the chance provision.

    Dear ICC; please schedule such events as more as you can. If they play at least 4 ODIs in 2012... u'll observe the changes in 2013 InshaAllah.

  • Tahir_Anjum on August 26, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    Well played Afghanistan.. looked better than all other associate teams. If they gets more chances then can beat Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, even New Zealand.. They have guts and they are better than Ireland as their play do not play county. Best of luck brothers

  • on August 26, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Afghanistan shows more promise than the Bangladesh team. We should have rotational relegation. Move up Ireland and Afghanistan and relegate Bangladesh and another team

  • landl47 on August 26, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    A nice game, with the result really never in doubt but Afghanistan far from outclassed. The match will give the Aghans belief in themselves, while it was a useful first outing of the tour for Australia. It's good to see this happening; both Engand and Australia scheduled matches against Ireland this year, though both were unfortunately spoiled by the weather. Hopefully there will be many more matches between test-playing countries and associates in the years to come.

  • The_Wog on August 26, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan - weren't overawed and played to their ability. At the coin toss the captain said "We'll do well inshallah" - it was indeed God's will that they play an impressive game last night.

    I'd like to hear more about these guys - where do they get their experience to compete at elite level? I'm assuming it's not just from net sessions and Kabul grade cricket. Are these ex-pat guys playing county cricket, PAK first class or what?

    Best of luck with upcoming competitions and hope to see you guys full time in the top level in a few years. (Don't neglect the first class though - there's nothing like 4-day cricket to develop technique!)

  • Nmiduna on August 26, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    This team is the most improved side of the associates..from division five to now at a level where they can beat the likes of ireland and give more than a scare to a team lyk BAN. it will take a few more years for them to really challenge a top class team, but if my God's blessings they keep improving without any hindrances typical in a developing country, surely the most remarkable story in the past few years for cricket! hope they get more support and exposure, one good thng in T20 is that it gives a more chance to a team lyk this which will give mch needed confidence and belief at the top level.in a strange way u can argue T20 serves the game to protect and spread and indirectly serving test cricket too!T20 may not suit da 'gentleman's game' tag, but it can certainly help cricket survive and spread!afterall purists doesnt hv to worry much, T20 is here for good,it fulfills the theory of evolution!

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on August 26, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    I agree with Rabbito about Doherty. He consistently gives away runs on the leg side. While Australia continue to play him they will struggle to reach no1 again. His bowling is not good enough to justify his poor batting and fielding. It is like walking in to a match one man down. S O'Keefe, A O' Brien, and M Clarke are all superior sla bowlers who have the added dimension of being able to bat and field well. M Beer is a more consistent bowler who is no worse a fielder.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 26, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    Oooops! Pushed embarrassingly hard by afghanistan....what has happened australia?!

  • on August 26, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan really proud of you guys, you are the real warrior keep it up, congratulation to the team, management and to all afghan. Now it's the time for us to celebrate................. Go Afghan Go

  • testcricfan24 on August 26, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Afghans played well I reckon, should be proud of themselves.

  • on August 26, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    SMALL CORRECTION australia WAS the worlds best team not IS

  • Rabbito on August 26, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    great show afganisan....not bad from the aussies too....mike hussy....what a champion....starc was good too. time for dougherty to be dropped, all he can manage is pies. Pattinsons no good for ODI either....wheres siddle?....hes one of the best bowlers on the planet.....still, good game for what it could have been.

  • Nadeem1976 on August 26, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Afghanistan did a great job today. It take years to become a better cricket team and it's nice to see that Afghanistan is on the right track. Only exposure can improve Afghanistan cricket. PCB needs to play more with Afghanistan. They are our brothers.

    Thanks to Australia for playing against a minnow. Australian showed great heart by playing this match. Aussies are really the best.

  • hyclass on August 26, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Well done Aus on a professional effort. Well done also to Afghanistan on putting on an excellent game of which they can be proud. I was interested to observe that Warner was out to bounce on the cut shot,a flaw I identified in his game almost a year ago. I recollect that Gilchrist had a similar flaw in his game that he was unable to overcome. There are similarities in their game,though Gilchrist being the far taller and stronger man was less troubled early by it. There are some similarities in their game though I believe Warner isn't of the same quality or consistency and wont rise to the same heights.

  • on August 26, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    Regardless of the result, Afghan side still played well. They certainly have some powerful big hitters in the side, so they should be more competitive in the T20 format. Furthermore, I hope the ICC is able to organize more matches for them against top ranked teams. They need to keep playing to improve their game. Anyway, Afghanistan have displayed that they will be a great asset to world cricket. All the best.

  • heathrf1974 on August 26, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Great effort by Afghanistan. To get over 150 against an established test nation at home is very promising indeed. The Aussies should be disappointed with that performance.

  • Wozza-CY on August 26, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Firstly, well played Afghanistan, great for the associate countries to play the test nations, should be more of it. BUT, what is with the current Australian teams putting pressure on the youngsters by putting them up the order? Maxwell doesn't bat 4 for Victoria!! This follows recent selection decisions to have 'inexeperienced' players at the top of the order with more experienced players with hundreds of games experience coming in behind them. What happened to earning your position up the order? David Hussey must have upset someone, why does he never get an opportunity up the order? I could be wrong, but Maxwell is a hard hitting, spinning all rounder...why not have him come in at 7 & lift the scoring rate? Clarke at 3 was a positive, but Maxwell at 4 with the two Husseys & Bailey behind him bewilders me!

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on August 26, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    Well done Afghanistan. However, I think people have failed to take into account the change in conditions (the dew factor) in significantly inflating Afghanistan's chase, when commenting. Sides often, especially on slow turners, chase down targets (even if in early trouble) once the dew sets in and the ball becomes as slippery as a cake of soap.

  • Afta on August 26, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    It's a rags to riches story. Within 4 years from where they started..! Australia did take this game seriously. Wonder what would have happened if countries like NZ, SL, BD played with them. Hats off, they are a side to be reckoned with. Love to see them play in the T20 in Sri Lanka.

  • maddy20 on August 25, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    Very well played indeed. At 49/4 I really thought they were gonna get bowled out for about 100-150. It was great to see them prove me wrong and get past 200. I hope the other cricketing nations give them a chance as well, so that they can improve, including our very own BCCI.

  • on August 25, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    you know what even doh we lost i loved the way our team played today and i am sure if they play again vs aus or any other team i m sure they will win. Love the way they played agaisnt the wolrd best team. damn that was sikk. love u all AFG Team. Keep it up we r praying for u as aways. we r still pround of u

  • on August 25, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    Great Show by Afghanistan

  • jackthelad on August 25, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Afghanistan were beaten by a highly experienced eleven, but they certainly were not disgraced, and should be given more opportunities to compete against ranking sides and develop at the highest level.

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    As an NZ fan, I am worried. At this rate Afghanistan will be better than us in a year or two....

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    Should play the Blackcaps would be close

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    I really think there should be another tier for the non full member nations to play test cricket against each other. This will allow them to have competitive cricket, including tests. ICC can't expect to just elect a team into a test playing nation and expect them to do well when they only play ODI and T20.

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Making 200+ against Aussies is more than a win for Afghanistan .Just incredible they were tonight .

  • sayedH416 on August 25, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    Afghanistan could be one of the best team in the World pretty soon.Afghanistan shows its hard work,talent and improvement to the World. Afghanistan fights cricket like a war,near in the future Aghanistan games will be the most exciting games with full members team. After this game if the full members teams do not play some games with Afghanistan, they must not have confident on theirselves to win from Afghanistan,but Afghanistan cricket journey is not stoppable and this team will pretty soon beats all full members teams like sri lanka.

  • the_blue_android on August 25, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    James Pattinson, the star bowler taken to cleaners by Afghani batsmen. Wonder what's gonna happen when he bowls to better sides in the sub-continent.

  • Testcricfan on August 25, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Afghanistan have some talented blokes...like Hamid hassan, who i thought was international class during the 2010 T20, Nabi, Shahzad & Shenwari. These guys, same applies to the Irish, need to learn the little things like rotating the strike, maneuvering the field etc...the challenge for cricket, and for ICC in particular, is to find opportunities for good players from associate level to play at the highest level. This can done by identifying talented players from ICC world league & nominating the best 11 for test matches & WC's. To improve cricket at the grass roots, the players from these countries can be sent to first class teams of full members. The Irish already have this opportunity thanks to the county circuit, and its time for other full members to add players in their FC teams. I dont think these players can improve lot by playing just against each other & the tests & World cups would be diluted by playing more than one associate teams a go in their current stage of development.

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    this performance shows that Afghanistan deserve the chances to play against test teams with one year left in their one day status ICC should organize their one day international matches against the likes of west indies Zealand Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and also it is the good opportunity for pcb to host a couple of one day internationals against Afghanistan in their own soil as they r very hungry to host the international cr9cket and i think this will b the best opportunity and i also will say that Afghanistan should had been selected for last two asia cups because an accosiate member with one day status of asia should deserve it its just the bad luck for afghans that asia cup qaulifying tournament is closed just when Afghanistan emerged to the international scene............... any best of luck for afghans and its time realy for icc and acc to promote Afghanistan cricket

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    It was a clear mismatch! the Australians though I have to admit as an Aussie that they did not perform as well as they should but for those who watched this game, they were testing out their skills and practising which is why they elected to bat after winning the toss plus all those free extras given out by the Australia bowlers as compared to our respective opposition which is proof enough. Getting use to the conditions was very important for Australia otherwise they wouldn't be able to cope against Pakistan so Australia did the sensible thing by utilizing almost all of the overs. This PAK-AUS series should be very exciting now!

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    well played Afgans!!..Hope we will see Nabi in T20 leagues like IPL/BPL

  • on August 25, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    I dont think it was a cakewalk for the aussies

  • on August 25, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    Afghanistan fight hard need some matches with test nations

  • Sinhaya on August 25, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Well Afghanistan is showing some very good fight. They need more international games with major teams. ICC should take note of this performance. I am sure Afghanistan will give a good run in the T20 world cup.

  • Dhs2000 on August 25, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    I wouldn't write off Afg Just yet, though they aren't in the best position.

  • siddhartha87 on August 25, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    i have already become fan of nabi!!

  • RVC-38 on August 25, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Good Luck Afganistan, it is nice to play against a team that has supporters with the humility, loyalty, and commitment to the cause that you people do, the inventors of the game could learn plenty. long live cricket

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  • RVC-38 on August 25, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Good Luck Afganistan, it is nice to play against a team that has supporters with the humility, loyalty, and commitment to the cause that you people do, the inventors of the game could learn plenty. long live cricket

  • siddhartha87 on August 25, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    i have already become fan of nabi!!

  • Dhs2000 on August 25, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    I wouldn't write off Afg Just yet, though they aren't in the best position.

  • Sinhaya on August 25, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Well Afghanistan is showing some very good fight. They need more international games with major teams. ICC should take note of this performance. I am sure Afghanistan will give a good run in the T20 world cup.

  • on August 25, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    Afghanistan fight hard need some matches with test nations

  • on August 25, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    I dont think it was a cakewalk for the aussies

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    well played Afgans!!..Hope we will see Nabi in T20 leagues like IPL/BPL

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    It was a clear mismatch! the Australians though I have to admit as an Aussie that they did not perform as well as they should but for those who watched this game, they were testing out their skills and practising which is why they elected to bat after winning the toss plus all those free extras given out by the Australia bowlers as compared to our respective opposition which is proof enough. Getting use to the conditions was very important for Australia otherwise they wouldn't be able to cope against Pakistan so Australia did the sensible thing by utilizing almost all of the overs. This PAK-AUS series should be very exciting now!

  • on August 25, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    this performance shows that Afghanistan deserve the chances to play against test teams with one year left in their one day status ICC should organize their one day international matches against the likes of west indies Zealand Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and also it is the good opportunity for pcb to host a couple of one day internationals against Afghanistan in their own soil as they r very hungry to host the international cr9cket and i think this will b the best opportunity and i also will say that Afghanistan should had been selected for last two asia cups because an accosiate member with one day status of asia should deserve it its just the bad luck for afghans that asia cup qaulifying tournament is closed just when Afghanistan emerged to the international scene............... any best of luck for afghans and its time realy for icc and acc to promote Afghanistan cricket

  • Testcricfan on August 25, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Afghanistan have some talented blokes...like Hamid hassan, who i thought was international class during the 2010 T20, Nabi, Shahzad & Shenwari. These guys, same applies to the Irish, need to learn the little things like rotating the strike, maneuvering the field etc...the challenge for cricket, and for ICC in particular, is to find opportunities for good players from associate level to play at the highest level. This can done by identifying talented players from ICC world league & nominating the best 11 for test matches & WC's. To improve cricket at the grass roots, the players from these countries can be sent to first class teams of full members. The Irish already have this opportunity thanks to the county circuit, and its time for other full members to add players in their FC teams. I dont think these players can improve lot by playing just against each other & the tests & World cups would be diluted by playing more than one associate teams a go in their current stage of development.