Afghanistan v Hong Kong, World T20, Group A, Chittagong March 17, 2014

Reputations at stake for Afghanistan, Hong Kong

39

Match facts

March 18, 2014
Start time 1530 local (0930 GMT)

Big picture

The build-up was all about creating heroes but, after illusion-shattering defeats in their opening games, Afghanistan and Hong Kong must get back to the more prosaic business of preserving reputations and dignity. Neither is yet out of the competition but the fates would have to be remarkably capricious for one of them to top the group from here.

Afghanistan's warrior mentality has given them an edge in their bull run through the Associate game but that combustibility is becoming a weakness at the highest level, where temperament and technique are more closely scrutinised. Only once have they not been heavily beaten at the World T20 and four innings out of five have disintegrated before lasting 20 overs.

Their confrontational approach against Bangladesh - expressed most clearly in the moment of handbags between Dawlat Zadran and Shakib Al Hasan - backfired fairly spectacularly but they should not need to get quite so worked up for Hong Kong, a team they beat comfortably in the semi-final of last year's Asian Cricket Council T20 Cup. After the disappointment of Sunday, the prospect of a first World T20 win will perhaps lift the mood.

Hong Kong came to the tournament with little to lose but the importance of needing to acquit themselves, rather than just turn up, was etched on to Jamie Atkinson's face after defeat to Nepal. Atkinson, the captain, had talked up Hong Kong's chances after rattling Zimbabwe and Netherlands during the warm-ups. But their nerves were jangled under floodlights at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium as Nepal got the better of his young side.

They can certainly play better with the bat and their attack may tease more mistakes from a gung-ho Afghanistan. Defeat will end their participation but they will be aiming to leave the World Cup wanting more, not less.

Watch out for

At the last World T20, Gulbadin Naib smashed five fours and three sixes in a 32-ball 44 against England coming in at No. 8. Promoted to bat at first drop in Afghanistan's opening match here, he walked out to face the second ball of the tournament and ended up as the innings' top-scorer. His swashbuckling approach is always entertaining but, as with most of his team-mates, a little composure would not go amiss.

Allrounder Irfan Ahmed, Pakistan-born but who came through Hong Kong's age-group cricket, bowled with impressive discipline and control in the middle of the innings against Nepal before his figures were dented in the later stages. His night continued to go downhill when he made a golden duck opening the batting. He has a T20 hundred to his name and may prefer to face Afghanistan's quicks.

Team news

Afghanistan should enjoy the pitch in Chittagong more, having been somewhat bewildered by the amount of turn on offer for Bangladesh's spinners in Dhaka. Seamer Mirwais Ashraf could replace Aftab Alam and Najibullah Zadran may be preferred to Najeeb Tarakai, the opener who made his debut in the previous match.

Afghanistan 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Karim Sadiq, 3 Gulbadin Naib, 4 Nawroz Mangal, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Shafiqullah, 8 Samiullah Shenwari, 9 Mirwais Ashraf, 10 Dawlat Zadran, 11 Shapoor Zadran

The main challenge for Hong Kong will be raising spirits. They have a full squad to pick from and will have to assess whose scars have healed best. The most likely change is to strengthen the batting by bringing in the veteran Munir Dar (who is currently banned from bowling) for Aizaz Khan.

Hong Kong 1 Irfan Ahmed, 2 Waqas Barkat, 3 Jamie Atkinson (capt & wk), 4 Babar Hayat, 5 Mark Chapma, 6 Nizakat Khan, 7 Munir Dar, 8 Tanwir Afzal, 9 Najeeb Amar, 10 Haseeb Amjad, 11 Nadeem Ahmed

Stats and trivia

  • Hong Kong will be playing just their second T20 international, to Afghanistan's 24th.
  • Samiullah Shenwari needs one wicket to overtake Hamid Hassan as his country's most successful bowler in T20Is.

Quotes

"We will try our best to win both games with a good [run rate]. If Bangladesh lose one game, we might come back."
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi concedes his team need a favour from elsewhere to reach the Super 10 stage.

"I say to the players all the time that you've got to soak everything up. It's not every day you get to play in a World T20 and play on such a big stage in front of cameras."
Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke wants his players to play without fear in their second game

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 18, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Funny talking ...HK, AFG will play better cricket than Bangladesh. Is it a joke.

  • on March 18, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Afg seems dominant to me.. But then they batted pathetic.. they have a fair chancy today to make up some mark.. HK has no strengths so far as seen in the tournament.. I reckon they'd hardly touch 100 or perhaps closer to it

  • mizan3060 on March 18, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    I have seen both Nepal and Afghanistan play in this tournament. Under the present condition, if Bangladesh fail to advance next round, Nepal has more chances than Afghans. Nepal deserve respect.

  • Arif.rusho_dhaka on March 18, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Here is the comment from Mr. Nabi, AFG Capt.-" We will try our best to win both games with a good [run rate]. If Bangladesh lose one game, we might come back." Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi

    My question to the AFG and others that why he still running after BD. Is he thinks that BD will lose by Nepal or HK ? Is it mandatory to quote about BD every time ? Why Bangladesh lose to Nepal or HK ? Ans. me . This Afghans are thinking that they can beat BD every time. But this is not possible for always. Bangladesh showed them where their position is. Even AFG cricketers who are getting some money in playing from BD's local league and BPL, but they aren't totally think about that. I am very astonished to see the comments and think that how badly they r picturing Bangladesh Cricket team. Pls show the respect what they achieved, and how many days it takes to come. Yes AFG r a very good team but competing with BD and losing them evertime that will take very long time....

  • rohan024 on March 18, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Both teams esp. Afghanistan deserves to play international cricket with superior teams in comparison to non deserving Bdesh team. If teams like Zim, Afghanistan, HKK are given more chances, then they will certainly perform better than Bdesh.

  • PierreCheuk on March 18, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    HK and Afghanistan let themselves down 48 hours ago in the T20 WC and were soundly beaten. Both these Associates have obstacles in advancing cricket at home.One has a Government and country beset by savage conflict and the other, HK, a team unsupported by an indifferent cricket family and a local HK Government who, unlike China, do not subscribe to sporting endeavour when there is no money in it, more so when that sport, at the highest level, involves non-Chinese.One feels for both cricket teams. 21st Century HK Civil servants happily sponsor Dragon Boat Racing but not cricket. Sadly for this HK team they have no visible support at this 2014 WC, not from their Government or indeed the HK cricket fraternity. Not a single HK supporter visible in the Stadium 2 nights ago. The HK team are flag bearers but HK could not care less.Money is the national anthem of HK. Good luck to both teams today.

  • sahaak on March 18, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    I am not Gonna blame Afghans team the Facility and the govt support which they have with that' its the Credit to Afghan guys that they have reached at this level' The Afghans shown Great talent' and the spirit more then other new Teams, but there Talent and Spirit is not gonna enough to beat the test playing nations' the re for the Govt and ABC also need to polish their talent' with International Coaching system and also the players Should learn quickly from this opportunities that they have today' and I after that' in few years' Afghans ill be the most Dangerous team in Cricket' Insha Allah

  • zabihalemi on March 18, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    For all those Afghanistan haters who post random comments without considering the history of Afghanistan Cricket!!! Before comparing the current strength of your team with Afghanistan's, compare the history, facilities, and opportunities of Afghanistan with those of yours. if Afghanistan is not performing well in one or two games it doesn't mean they are not worth it. they are improving and in the next 5 to 10 years they will be by far a better team than some of the test playing nations. just wait and see... Good Luck Afghanistan.

  • on March 18, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    All the best to Afghan team, but no offence, HK has a better chance of winning today. their batters are better than Afghans and if the pitch assists spin, HK will wipe out Afghanistan's chances.

  • on March 18, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    afghanistan have agood player but problem is managment so t 20 math why they dont take good player like noor ali and asgher

  • on March 18, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Funny talking ...HK, AFG will play better cricket than Bangladesh. Is it a joke.

  • on March 18, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Afg seems dominant to me.. But then they batted pathetic.. they have a fair chancy today to make up some mark.. HK has no strengths so far as seen in the tournament.. I reckon they'd hardly touch 100 or perhaps closer to it

  • mizan3060 on March 18, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    I have seen both Nepal and Afghanistan play in this tournament. Under the present condition, if Bangladesh fail to advance next round, Nepal has more chances than Afghans. Nepal deserve respect.

  • Arif.rusho_dhaka on March 18, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Here is the comment from Mr. Nabi, AFG Capt.-" We will try our best to win both games with a good [run rate]. If Bangladesh lose one game, we might come back." Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi

    My question to the AFG and others that why he still running after BD. Is he thinks that BD will lose by Nepal or HK ? Is it mandatory to quote about BD every time ? Why Bangladesh lose to Nepal or HK ? Ans. me . This Afghans are thinking that they can beat BD every time. But this is not possible for always. Bangladesh showed them where their position is. Even AFG cricketers who are getting some money in playing from BD's local league and BPL, but they aren't totally think about that. I am very astonished to see the comments and think that how badly they r picturing Bangladesh Cricket team. Pls show the respect what they achieved, and how many days it takes to come. Yes AFG r a very good team but competing with BD and losing them evertime that will take very long time....

  • rohan024 on March 18, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Both teams esp. Afghanistan deserves to play international cricket with superior teams in comparison to non deserving Bdesh team. If teams like Zim, Afghanistan, HKK are given more chances, then they will certainly perform better than Bdesh.

  • PierreCheuk on March 18, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    HK and Afghanistan let themselves down 48 hours ago in the T20 WC and were soundly beaten. Both these Associates have obstacles in advancing cricket at home.One has a Government and country beset by savage conflict and the other, HK, a team unsupported by an indifferent cricket family and a local HK Government who, unlike China, do not subscribe to sporting endeavour when there is no money in it, more so when that sport, at the highest level, involves non-Chinese.One feels for both cricket teams. 21st Century HK Civil servants happily sponsor Dragon Boat Racing but not cricket. Sadly for this HK team they have no visible support at this 2014 WC, not from their Government or indeed the HK cricket fraternity. Not a single HK supporter visible in the Stadium 2 nights ago. The HK team are flag bearers but HK could not care less.Money is the national anthem of HK. Good luck to both teams today.

  • sahaak on March 18, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    I am not Gonna blame Afghans team the Facility and the govt support which they have with that' its the Credit to Afghan guys that they have reached at this level' The Afghans shown Great talent' and the spirit more then other new Teams, but there Talent and Spirit is not gonna enough to beat the test playing nations' the re for the Govt and ABC also need to polish their talent' with International Coaching system and also the players Should learn quickly from this opportunities that they have today' and I after that' in few years' Afghans ill be the most Dangerous team in Cricket' Insha Allah

  • zabihalemi on March 18, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    For all those Afghanistan haters who post random comments without considering the history of Afghanistan Cricket!!! Before comparing the current strength of your team with Afghanistan's, compare the history, facilities, and opportunities of Afghanistan with those of yours. if Afghanistan is not performing well in one or two games it doesn't mean they are not worth it. they are improving and in the next 5 to 10 years they will be by far a better team than some of the test playing nations. just wait and see... Good Luck Afghanistan.

  • on March 18, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    All the best to Afghan team, but no offence, HK has a better chance of winning today. their batters are better than Afghans and if the pitch assists spin, HK will wipe out Afghanistan's chances.

  • on March 18, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    afghanistan have agood player but problem is managment so t 20 math why they dont take good player like noor ali and asgher

  • Ishu091091 on March 18, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Come on afganistan u r much better than wat u showed in last game against bangla.

  • on March 18, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    If Afghanistan do not listen to ICC advices, they will loss the gain reputation as soon as no one think of it. I hope the Afghanistan management at least they must and must pay attention to ICC advices and learn and learn from their previous mistakes. AFGHANISTAN CRICKET IS NOT WEAK BUT THE MANAGEMENT AND LEADING AND SELECTION IS SO MUCH WEAK. I want ICC to support them as before.

  • cricket2011 on March 18, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Hongkong was in good form but they failed with Nepal's Spin attack. The pitch is very important for each play. In BD Spinners are kings. Anyway I support Afghan because it is a national team.in HongKong only two person who born in HongKong.

  • on March 18, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    like imar`s comments. good post. we all should respect each other.

  • lmarkhplwak on March 18, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    Lmar Khplwak: common cricket fans and don't balm so mach Afghanistan team, all the big teams scored less than Afghanistan in world 20T, if you guys saying about the behavior. most of the big boys such Shakib-ul-Hassan miss behaved against srilanka, but its not mean that Shakib is a bed character he is a still world class player, also after the Afghanistan mach his attitude with media and analysis about Afghanistan team is like a school kid but still we Afghan respect him, because these are the things which is related with the cricket world, we Afghans accepted that our Team couldn't control their emotions in both losing case and winning case because our team is still in the learning process and they have to learn quickly and they are working hard. but please don't say nonsensical things about the Afghanistan cricket team we always respected and supported test nation but we hoping that other country has to respect our team and our fans,

    Please cricinfo subscribe,

  • reyme on March 18, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    I see AFG win this eyes closed. AFG has a very good chance going to the next round if they can win next 2 games with higher run rate as Nabi pointed out. The way AFG is improving recently there is a very good chance AFG will go well ahead of IRE, BD, PAK, SL and probably will be challenging IND in Tests and ODI on consistence basis. AFG pacers are world class perhaps better than all subcontinent teams and they might get better than WI, ENG, NZ and SA soon. Within a few years the new rivalry might be between IND and AFG. All the best to the AFG team! I wont be surprised if they reach the finals in ODI world cup in AUS/NZ next year. My prediction AFG vs. IND finals and IND wins it narrowly.

  • on March 18, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Wait it was our A team vs Bangladesh And today it would our U14 vs Hong Kong We respect every Nation but the way Shakib shouldered Zadran he had to respond coz he Zadran is a man

  • on March 18, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    I was an Afgan fan before Nabi's press conference. I became an afgan hater after seeing their body language in the field. Afgans days are coming to an end. The only associate team that can actually challenge the big teams are Ireland right now. Nepal has a good chance to prove their worth in this tournament aswell. Best of luck HongKong.

  • rock_kamran on March 18, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Why hamid hassan is not playing?

  • MeijiMura on March 18, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Both Hong Kong and Afghanistan are much better than what they showed in their first games respectively. I'm looking for a much improved performance by both no matter who ends up winning the game.

  • on March 18, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Bangladesh Cricket Analyst

    Bangladesh dream still surround Afghanistan. Come on Afghanistan woke up. This is not you which world are appreaciating since year long.

    You loose match it doen,t matter but it is matter your manner. Your manner is going down day by day. At first you need to give respect others team then you will get respect.

    Press conferences of Nabi is horrible. What you will do with 10 allrounders. A few can change game.

    World hope good from you not heighest. Because heighest cricket require lot oif talent, temparement and tecnique. Do not see day dream. You have a good prospect. Don,t let it wash away by horrible manner.

  • on March 17, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    The Afghani player needs to learn the right cricketing manners, they must understand that they are playing with the big boys because they are allowed to play by other nations. That they must not behave like rugby or football players in a cricket field.

  • on March 17, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    trying to hit first ball as hard as he could...thats the mistakes afghani are making..cricket isnt abt power or fours n sixes..its abt combination...batsmen have to make partnerships not jst go for runs each deliveries..m a nepali n m proud how we played...we didnt have any expectations to win any matches...suddenly every1 tipping us to show something...thats wt cricket is abt....u need patience which afghani players dont have atm....bt still no offence

  • on March 17, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    Well you won't coz you got smashed in the first game already...

  • Wahid59 on March 17, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    Losing a match is one thing, but losing the respect is much more damaging. Afghanistan not only lost the Bangladesh match badly; they also behaved poorly(as seen on T by millions). To earn respect you should show respect, plain and simple. I'd also request Afghan supporters to be respectful to a better team(at least at the moment). Best of luck to Afghanistan team and it's supporters.

  • sumonkhorshed on March 17, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    Afghan players & fans need to learn "respect" to other countries.should stop unnecessary foul talkings.need to learn from this big event.still afghans r far far behind from test arena...

  • on March 17, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    it is time for Afghanistan to send warning to some players such us Muhammad Shehzad he should be sideline for at lest one game. He has the talent to hit hard but this is not how u win the game, stop being a clown. I am glad that BD won last game and humiliated them hard so they could learn from this. Cricket is a game of manner and discipline doesn't matter who is the player if they miss behave they should be punished. I am an Afghan fan but as a honest fan I express my honest opinion. Nabi needs to get his act together enough of experimentation.

  • on March 17, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    To get respect you have to respect. The body language of the wicket keeper and Dawlat was not right. This is not a good sign for a country with good cricketing potential. One win does not change anything. Afghanistan has to go still a long way. It is better for Afghanistan to focus on Cricket and develop infrastructure. The world will respect automatically when you play good cricket but not by force.

  • on March 17, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Crazy that they left Mirwias Ashraf out for Aftab Alam against Bangladesh, Ashraf was probably their best bowler in the Asia Cup just a fortnight or so ago. Asghar Stanikzai also deserves a chance instead of either Karim Sadiq, Najibullah Zadran or Shafiqullah. Agree with those who've said that Noor Ali Zadran should be in the squad, he looked a quality batsman in the Asia Cup with a proper technique and great timing. Afganistan need to learn that Twenty20 isn't all about slogging and trying to hit every ball out of the ground. There is still a place for class and finesse.

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Honestly didn't expect such rude behaviour from the Afghanistan... they need to get a hold of themselves since they are Associates!

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    insha Allah we will win both games in a good runret to go top tennnnnnnnnnnnn goooooooooo AfGhaNistN

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Bangladesh players need to learn ''respect''

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    I think we have good bating line up and we will be win both games by big margins

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Afghanistan captain must be very careful this time in selection of players especially the batting order.

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Well then AFG should respect to other nations whom you are playing with it could be a big team or minor team .They has to learn the cricketing manners and temperament on the field .You are still behind on the line . Bst of luckz guys ..BD fan

  • on March 17, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Very bad seleion by Afghan,Noor ali zadran is a good oppining for the team, Asghar stanikzai is a good hitters and can save wicket. What they want from SHAHZAD who scored just 25 runis in 7 matches, Mirwaif Ashraf is enogh Alrounder .

  • FirojAlam on March 17, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    AFG is expecting high always and it is one of their biggest problem because it is creating tension inside. See again the statement of Nabi,. "We will try our best to win both games with a good [run rate]. If Bangladesh lose one game, we might come back." I think they may win but not with a good run rate. ...

  • on March 17, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    afghanistan team it's very good team for the tornemant and afghanistan team can win the match.

  • on March 17, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    Seeing Afg's last game really demoralized the fans.. They are not as bad as they did last time.. HK is a new team and might even take time to understand the cricketing conditions.. Afghans may beat them if they dont take things easy and play good with what strengths they have

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  • on March 17, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    Seeing Afg's last game really demoralized the fans.. They are not as bad as they did last time.. HK is a new team and might even take time to understand the cricketing conditions.. Afghans may beat them if they dont take things easy and play good with what strengths they have

  • on March 17, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    afghanistan team it's very good team for the tornemant and afghanistan team can win the match.

  • FirojAlam on March 17, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    AFG is expecting high always and it is one of their biggest problem because it is creating tension inside. See again the statement of Nabi,. "We will try our best to win both games with a good [run rate]. If Bangladesh lose one game, we might come back." I think they may win but not with a good run rate. ...

  • on March 17, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    Very bad seleion by Afghan,Noor ali zadran is a good oppining for the team, Asghar stanikzai is a good hitters and can save wicket. What they want from SHAHZAD who scored just 25 runis in 7 matches, Mirwaif Ashraf is enogh Alrounder .

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Well then AFG should respect to other nations whom you are playing with it could be a big team or minor team .They has to learn the cricketing manners and temperament on the field .You are still behind on the line . Bst of luckz guys ..BD fan

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    Afghanistan captain must be very careful this time in selection of players especially the batting order.

  • on March 17, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    I think we have good bating line up and we will be win both games by big margins

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Bangladesh players need to learn ''respect''

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    insha Allah we will win both games in a good runret to go top tennnnnnnnnnnnn goooooooooo AfGhaNistN

  • on March 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Honestly didn't expect such rude behaviour from the Afghanistan... they need to get a hold of themselves since they are Associates!