Afghanistan v Hong Kong, World T20, Group A, Chittagong

Shahzad, Shafiqullah power Afghanistan to seven-wicket win

The Report by Mohammad Isam in Chittagong

March 18, 2014

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A

Afghanistan 154 for 3 (Shahzad 68, Shafiqullah 51*) beat Hong Kong 153 for 8 (Barkat 32, Chapman 38) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Gulbadin Naib gets under the ball in the outfield, Afghanistan v Hong Kong, World T20, Group A, Chittagong, March 18, 2014
Mohammad Shahzad struck six fours and three sixes in his 53-ball 68 © AFP
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Mohammad Shahzad is Afghanistan's most prolific Twenty20 batsman by a long way. His recent form had been quite poor, as scores of 7, 22, 0, 22 and 0 in his last five innings would indicate. He broke this peculiar streak by hammering 68 off 53 balls as Afghanistan rushed to a seven-wicket win over Hong Kong.

The garnish on the win was provided by Shafiqullah, touted the T20 specialist by captain Mohammad Nabi. He blasted 24 runs off the 17th over, bowled by Aizaz Khan, and later helped himself to 11 off Haseeb Amjad in the following over to ensure Afghanistan won with two overs to spare.

A 150-plus chase looked tricky but Shahzad timed his innings perfectly. He made sure Afghanistan didn't stutter from the early loss of Najeeb Tarakai, who couldn't clear the midwicket boundary in the third over. Shahzad added 55 runs for the second wicket with Asghar Stanikzai, who scored slowly, but kept one end tight.

Shahzad survived two dropped catches in the sixth over, though, and three in total. Captain Jamie Atkinson and Aizaz missed him with differing degrees of difficulty. Aizaz's chance was a sitter at mid-on. The other drop was in the 15th over when Tanwir Afzal misjudged a chance at third man.

Shahzad continued in his merry way, having already struck a boundary past the wicketkeeper's right with a ball that struck the back of his bat. Stanikzai fell in the eleventh over, after which Shahzad reached his fifth T20 international fifty. Two balls later, he struck the shot of the day, a helicopter shot, over the midwicket boundary, and didn't he love it.

Irfan Ahmed made up for his second first-ball duck in the tournament with a stunning catch at deep extra-cover to get rid of Shahzad, but Afghanistan were on top of the situation. Though Nabi walked to the crease at that point, it was Shafiqullah who finished it in some style - making an unbeaten 51 off 24 balls.

Hong Kong finished on 153 for 8 in 20 overs, a marked improvement from their meltdown against Nepal. But their start must have made them worry about a repeat of Sunday night. Irfan missed Shapoor Zadran's inswinger off the first ball of the innings, the same point at which he had been out to Paras Khadka in the previous game.

But Waqas Barkat and Atkinson hit back soon after, taking 16 off the fourth over, bowled by Gulbadin Naib. Atkinson blasted boundaries through the off-side field and one straight down the ground. He also pulled a four and a six, over midwicket, his best shot in a very short innings. He was trapped leg-before by Hamza Hotak a ball after he had struck his fifth boundary, in the fifth over.

Barkat kept his shape well at the other end, despite the two losses. He built a 60-run stand with the fidgety Mark Chapman, Barkat scoring at a run-a-ball and letting Chapman have more of the strike.

Chapman started off very well but just after he had cracked one through the covers, Dawlat Zadran floored him with a quick bouncer. Chapman had looked to charge him, and although he dusted himself and got up quickly, Chapman needed the physio's attention immediately.

He ended up with the top score, 38 off 43 balls with three fours and a six, coming off legspinner Samiullah Shenwari. Two of his boundaries came through the off-side, and one could easily imagine the sort of talent possessed by this 19-year old.

Barkat got out to Mohammad Nabi, trying to scoop the offspinner. Babar Hayat also fell to Nabi in the 16th over. Chapman gave away his stumps for Zadran to aim at, and he stung his leg pole in the 17th over.

Nizakat Khan and Tanwir Afzal then took over the last three overs, hitting one six each. Nizakat hammered Hotak over extra-cover, the best-looking shot of the innings, while Tanwir top-edged a hoick over third-man in the penultimate over.

The result is effectively the end of the tournament for Hong Kong, while Afghanistan survive for one more potentially pivotal day, March 20.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by expert22 on (March 22, 2014, 21:42 GMT)

Honestly i could only see three batsman in this team. istanikzai almost a good batsman, shanwari,( good allrounder) , Nabi( better captain, good hitter of ball from time to time). so a team with three batsman, is hard to compete against full side. :) cheers

Posted by expert22 on (March 22, 2014, 21:40 GMT)

Afghanistan going to struggle big time again, because of batsmen next time. they should bring new young batsman, no favoritism, justfull selection of players are needed.

i think the afghan cricket borad should take the young batsman for some months or a year atleas, to train in india before going to wc 2015.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 1:54 GMT)

hahahaha...keep your dream with you. long way to go to defeat bdesh again.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

We will have another good win over Bangladesh when we meet in ICC World Cup 2015. Bangladesh won't have huge fan noise as they are having it here in their own home.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

We missed 5 key payers against Bangladesh but when we got four of them back against Hong Kong we showed our class. Respect to Nepal but Afghanistan are too strong for their associates members.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

i love you afghan atalan

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

I love you afghanistan

Posted by ahmadzaisaad on (March 19, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

Dear bouncer709 now what is the chance for AFG to qualify if Hong Kong beat BD?, what margin is required to improve their Runs rate above BD.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

Kamal Andewal, with such a horrendous batting lineup, u got some pretty lofty dreams. I agree that AFG might not have facilities but even having facilities it's not easy just to go out and perform immediately. Ur team's batting techniques are all wrong & all batsmen are over 27 28. So obviously u gotta wait for ur next generation to learn some batting which is automatically gonna take 10-12 years. So, guess what there's a difference between dreams & reality.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

This victory refreshed the memories of Afghanistan Team in Form. The previous loss to Bangladesh had disappointed Afghan Fans as we expected too much from our team. It was a good experience for us that we should be well prepared and ready to fight for a place against Test Nations. Hope Afghan team prepares well for the upcoming 2015 World Cup which will be played in Australia on bouncy tracks. The Pacemen of Afghan team are good enough when the conditions favor them and our batsmen can play Fast Bowlers too, so there is always hope. I wish the ICC prepare a series of ODI matches between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and Afghanistan and PNG who got the ODI status and is a good team too. Playing in PNG will give Afghan team experience of the Conditions for next World Cup.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

well played Afghanistan Now it is clear that they can beat associates easily and they are much more better side then they were four years ago and just now they need backing from full member nations and to give Afghan players chances in their domestic seasons and support them. Afghanistan is a very good addition to world cricket .

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

It is funny to see a test nation (Bangladesh) struggling to qualify for the main stage of world cup.... If Afghanistan had 50% of the facilities Bang has,they would play much better than them... Despite so much domestic cricket,cricket grounds,cricket academies ,good coaches and a long cricket history etc.... they are still not much ahead of the top two associate nations namely Afghanistan and Ireland.Afghanistan has only one international ground and only one cricket academy but look at their achievements.. within five years beating Bang will be a piece of cake for Afghanistan....

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 23:56 GMT)

Afghanistan has absolutely no chance to qualify for the next round over Bangladesh!

Posted by Monjur_Elahi on (March 18, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

Nepal is strong enough to beat Afganistan.

Posted by Funtopia on (March 18, 2014, 21:41 GMT)

I admire Afgan bowling attack. Their pace bowlers remind me of Pakistani legends Imran Khan, Washim Akram, Waqar Yunus and Shoib Akhter (not comparison of their performance but their style). At the same time I didn't see any talent in their batting order except skipper Nabi. May be one or two other players got some batting skills but they are not consistent and they lack temperament and patience. I think this is because they didn't played too many game against full members. Once they earned some experience against full members, I believe, they will be a strong balanced side and will become a threat to all top class team. They should stop comparing themselves with BD like Shakib says "we should not think about our opponents, we just need to improve ourselves". BD has a strong cricket base where new players coming everyday. Their domestic cricket not only has depth but also has variety. That is another point where Afgan should put more concentration.

Best wishes for rest of the games.

Posted by reyme on (March 18, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

@wapuser: Yes Hongkong will beat BD by a huge margin, paving the way for AFG to go to the next round. Nepal don't stand any chance against Afghanistan. I see Nepal getting bundled out within 40 and AFG chase it down in 2 overs. This way AFG will have a superior run rate over others. Its T20, anything is possible. What do you think? Looking forward to see AFG beating IND (definitely), PAK (maybe), AUS (maybe) and WI (easily), atleast 2 matches thus reaching the semifinal. You never know.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

i see ... here are a lot of Afghan supporters who have respect to Bangladesh cricket...... but alas .... if the Afghan cricket had some of this ...... u'r cricketers are so much exhibitionist over their ability ...... and yes we are beaten by afghan .... that not means that they are better than us.... in any condition .... that we already proved .... with tremendous pressure over the relief afghans ...... moreover we beat them with a washing away ...... hope u afghans are understand..... and try to be upgraded in cricket ..... pls not underestimates the senior ..... as like us..... we never said that we are better than Pakistan after 99 world cup ...... immediately or after that .....

Posted by imad_lala on (March 18, 2014, 19:04 GMT)

Good performance shown by afghanistan batsmans.specialy the way mohamad shahzad got runs and played very sensibly. I feel sorry the way bangladeshiana giving response to new teams.still a match for afghanistan team to win.hope for ur best.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 18, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

@Nazmul Hasan Sharif: People like you give Bangladeshi fans a bad name. India are a far better team than BD and that's the reality. Still, anything can happen in T20 cricket and any sensible cricket fan will know that. Enjoy your team's victories but don't get cocky.Tough battles await BD in next round.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

Afghanistan & HK, well played ! (Bangladeshi)

Posted by wapuser on (March 18, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

Well played Hong Kong, Now what is the winning margin for Afghanistan to go to next stage if Hong Kong beat BD in coming match in-sha-Allah, considering over 2 the run rate of BD.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (March 18, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

Well done Hong Kong for putting up a good score against Afghan bowling.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

The sixer by Shahzad is too good. (Dhoni style). He is a funny guy but has good potential.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

Afghanistan is far better team compared to India. India is so weak that they lost warm up games even though they used all of their players (15) in one match. India and Afghan needs to play 3/5 match series.. we will decide who is better - IMO afghans are favorites. But right now, Bangladesh is better team and Afghan must prepare their batting, only then we can expect some real close fight between these two. Best wishes to Afghans.

Posted by Dhali_BD_Fan on (March 18, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

Good Game! Congrats HK and Afganistan for a good game, thought it was going to be much closer than that!

Posted by expert22 on (March 18, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

No disespect but Hon kong will not be able to defeat BD.

Posted by expert22 on (March 18, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

Thnx BD for giving afghan player chance in playing, in your league. And i hope you go all the way if not afg has chance to do so:). Shaikbull Hassan is my favo player, very talented and good personality character.

best R. Afghan

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

Afg needs more exposure to top ranking teams they have the potential to become a great cricketing side respect frm SL

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 16:06 GMT)

we respect all teams, but i like my team. i hope them be very polite both players and fans.....sameem from afg

Posted by keralite on (March 18, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

Look at how nepal batted today in the middle overs. If Afghanistan had been bit more circumspect in their batting in the previous match there would have been a better contest.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 15:32 GMT)


You are right, we won't have chance if Nepal wins today, but we are still slightly in, if Bangladesh win today and we beat Nepal by big margin and then again we hope for Hong Kong to win from Bangladesh. I think all of these wont happen together so that is why I call it a very slightly chance. We did not turn up against Bangladesh because we played some outfit players because of political issues in our selection and we then we lost to home nation which is not a shame.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Well done, we hope both of you to strive your best vs Nepal.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

@wapuser.... Thanks for your support for us.

@ZayedKhan90 ..... We did thank and will always thank Bangladesh for giving chance to us to play in BPL. But Pakistan play more games with us than any other nation. We Afghans thank Pakistan for giving us opportunities of playing with them I hope other teams continue the same way because Afghanistan have some entertains players who can win hearts and big matches if they play more with big teams. I am proud of my team the way they played n Asia Cup and looking forward World Cup 2015. I hope it teams play with us before that.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

Mohammad Shahzad and Shafiqullah we proud of you all perfect start best of luck

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 18, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

@wapuser: this tells the story how much u understand cricket and run rate, first of all i am from Pakistan not BD, and I am talking of the possibility of Afganistan to make it to next round, but you people are too brash and arrogant that you don't understand what in your favour and what not,,,,, i am talking of run rate in this wc,... beating BD by 33 runs in asia cup?... is that have any thing with run rate in this WC?...

Posted by wapuser on (March 18, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

Best of luck for Afghanistan in international cricket ... we hope that afghansss will be grow up the next power in cricket world because it contains goood hitters....

Posted by SaifKhan90 on (March 18, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

People need to show some restraint when commenting on this forum. We all love our country and it's very important, that we learn to respect each other and not get carried away with emotion as well. As a Bangladeshi, I enjoy watching the Afghans and want them to do well. Afghan fans must realize that Bangladesh is the only country, which allowed Afghan players to take part in the BD league and extended lot of support to them. Did India or Pak invite Afghans to take part in their league or any help? So, pls don't be negative. We need to respect each other and support our respective teams. Cheers

Posted by wapuser on (March 18, 2014, 14:34 GMT)

Dear bouncer, Afghans know better than you about run rate and points table, I think you forget that Afg beaten BD in Asia Cup at their home conditions with a margin of 33 runs, being a test nation it's very shame on u people that ur school kids team cannot grow up.. Your team cannot beam other teams like SRL, pak. Ind at their home condition, I challenge if BD team play matches outside BD against Afg than Afg will win the complete series.. The last T20 was a co incident but anyways Congrats for qualifying..

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 14:27 GMT)


We always did respect others and will do. I hope Bangladesh win today and then I will hope Hong Kong to beat Bangladesh which looks far from possibility. We are 90% out of it anyway but I will not stop praying for luck. I always said Bangladesh have more good and experience players than us which can turn the game on their side but cricket is a game and everyone must show respect to each other

Posted by MAN_AT_WORK on (March 18, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Waheed Shirzay@ As a Bangladeshi I am respecting Afgan too but as long as my team got respect from your (so call ICC T20 champion! )team too !!

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 18, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

@Malyar Jabarkhel: Like Afghan team inexperienced, their fans also not understanding the formation and run rate and table positions... you want today Nepal to Beat BD and hope that you will make to next round, but don't understand that if Nepal beat BD, then Afghanistan will need to beat Nepal by 132 runs atleast. If Nepal win by 10 runs, Afghanistan will need to beat them by 142 runs.... So Afghan fans today you should forget fight with BD fans today, and pray for BD today to beat Nepal and then in next match pray for Hong Kong to beat BD....... :)

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 18, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

I dont see any chance for Afghanistan to make it to the next round, If Nepal win this game even by 1 run, Afghanistan will need to beat Nepal by 133 runs in next game . If Bangladesh win today even by 1 run, then Afghanistan will need to pray for Hong kong to beat Bangladesh .....and also they need to beat Nepal too by a good margin at least 52+ runs.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

I see a lot of talks back and forth between Afghan and Bangladesh Fans. I am Afghan and whole heartedly support my team. We afghans do respect every single cricketing giants including Bangladesh and as well as all the Associates and Affiliate nations. There is no doubt that Afghanistan is a better team among Associates along with Ireland and beating Bangladesh and/or for that matter any test nation was inevitable, because it had to start from somewhere. I believe the Afghan fans need to show modesty like our players did by not jumping up in the air when they beat Bangladesh; and also the Bangladesh fans need to respect the new comers. Yes we get it you are better than our team in most aspects, but we are catching up, slowly but surely. I am personally so thankful to all the cricket boards and specially the BCB for extending their help to ACB and hope this trend would continue. Good luck to all the teams and may the best team win. If Bang loses one and we win both, we are still in :-)

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

Bangladesh have been among test nations for long time and yet haven't gain any experience remember in a few years afghan CT will go ahead and leave Bangladesh behind inshallah

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

GreAt performance by afghans well done and best of luck

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

Shagiqullah was so impressive today. He scored 51 out of 24 balls. He looks promising talent

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

‌Bengalis love to see Afghan lose. they afraid that if Bangali lose to Nepal Afghans will qualify this make sense. We love to see Nepal wining today.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

Guys what about the Qualifications? what about AFG chances of getting into 2nd round?

Posted by FirstPrize on (March 18, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Afghan is better team....

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Really Habibullah? When Afghans gain the same amount of experience as BD Players? What do u think BD is gonna sit there idle? We've got class players like Anamul, Mominul & Shabbir who'll improve as well unlike ur sloggers. As far as pace is concerned we've got a emerging fast bowler in Taskin coming up. So BD is not gonna sit here waiting for ages till the Afghans improve. We've got better teams to beat.

Posted by scorpion4u on (March 18, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

Great and well done shehzad if u stay.on wicket u can chase every kind of highest score well done

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

Bangalis are forgetting they yet to win a game in 2014 from a test nation. At least Afghanistan did beat a test nation

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

well played by muhammad shehzad. i hope he learns from his mistakes he is a great player with gifted talent but he needs to relax.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

proud of you Afghanistan

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

As an Afghan I am respecting Bangladesh but as a test nation they don't show respect despite we beat them comfortably in Asia Cup. Our team is playing from 2009 and Bangladesh are quite older but still have no quality to respect others. We are still learners and have good future ahead of us, after few more years we will inshallah topple likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I would like to see Bangladesh win games outside their country.

Posted by DauD_ on (March 18, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

Brilliant HELICOTPER SHOT from Shahzad!! What a six!!

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Dear Neloy hasan what was the rate when india was batting against bangladesh when you found one day status also what was the rate teams were beating youre team by very high margins.... its game of cricket nothing can be predicted one day when afghanistan have more experienced players like your team have then we will see the competition its a matter of time anything can change...

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

The result shows it all. Just 4 required

Posted by MAN_AT_WORK on (March 18, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

4 drop catches and still counting ....Shahazad will be a legend if You keep dropping him ;) lol

Posted by iMPARTIAL.PAK on (March 18, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

why the Bangla ppl are so harsh at Afghanis.. beating Bangladesh by Afghans in BD is their achievement not crime.. be open minded. look i am from pakistan but i wait desperately when Virat kohli comes to the crease even against My team. love cricket. Bd is a better team than Afghan. but AFG is gonna gt better soon.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

great comeback by Shahzad

Posted by bhakbhak on (March 18, 2014, 12:07 GMT)

I have nothing against any team, but seeing that just 3 of the 11 players in the HK team are born in HK, and the remaining 8 are from Pakistan is somehow unfair. The same with the UAE team. I somehow feel happy when i see teams with players born and brought up in the country they are representing. Teams like Nepal, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, PNG, and teams playing in other divisions deserve kudos. ICC and the other cricket councils must do something to encourage local talent in the game, that's the only way the game can develop, and not be restricted to "expat-only" past time.

Posted by MAN_AT_WORK on (March 18, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

Sorry to say Bunch of Amature playing ...hope u come back strong next time

Posted by MAN_AT_WORK on (March 18, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

Love to see Hong Kong win ....From a Bangladeshi

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

Look at the rate that the Hong Kong batsmen are scoring. This should be enough to shut the afghan big mouths. Afghan supporters, see how your team is getting the treatment from a team like Hong Kong. This should take you back in reality. So, stop your arrogant talking. You should support your team in every situation but, should not go beyond the limit. Show honor to others, obviously they'll honor you if you deserve that.

We'll definitely be happy to see the associates are making progress for the sake of the well-being of cricket. It's a global game. Come and achieve your place on the platform.

Posted by filizant on (March 18, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

C'mon Hong Kong! You can do it!

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

Afgan is going to loose today to Hong kong.......they must learn basic how to play spin.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

Afg gonna win today

Posted by ShafkatRabby on (March 18, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

Seems that Hong kong are much better sides than afgans.hope they will win today over afgans as afgan has got only some so called pacers.they are not capable of playing atleast third class spin..

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