Afghanistan v Ireland, World T20 warm-up April 28, 2010

Afghanistan display their intentions

Cricinfo staff

Afghanistan 134 for 5 (Stanikzai 39) beat Ireland 133 for 9 (D Ahmadzai 4-15) by five wickets

Afghanistan showed no signs of nerves on the eve of their big-stage debut, as they surged to an impressive five-wicket victory over Ireland with three balls to spare. Their victory was based around two inspired spells at either end of the game - first from the seamer, Dawlat Ahmadzai, who claimed 4 for 15, and then from Ashghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi, who added 66 runs for the fifth wicket in six overs to swipe the contest from under Ireland's nose.

"Any team wants a jump start, no matter who you are playing against," said coach Kabir Khan. "Ireland are one of the best Associate teams and getting a victory against them when we were a bit down to start with was very important. As a coach the promising thing is that the boys are fighting hard and they are coming back into games which is not very easy in Twenty20."

After winning the toss and choosing to field, Afghanistan pushed Ireland onto the defensive from the first over, as Ahmadzai removed Will Porterfield for a second-ball duck with the Ireland captain swatting to square leg, before ripping through the rest of the top-order. Paul Stirling was caught and bowled for 6 before Alex Cusack had his middle stump extracted for the same score, and when the O'Brien brothers both fell in the space of six balls, Ireland were in disarray at 32 for 5.

It should have been 43 for 6 shortly afterwards, but John Mooney was given a life off a top edge and alongside they did their utmost to repair the damage adding 79 in nine overs for the sixth wicket, with Mooney cracking three sixes in a 33-ball 42. Trent Johnston chipped in with 16 from 13 balls to keep up the late impetus, but Ireland's total of 133 for 9 always seemed inadequate against such charged-up opponents.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan took their time to get their reply up and running, as the young spinner, George Dockrell, once again impressed with his guile and control, claiming 2 for 23 in four overs. After 13 overs, Afghanistan were only halfway to their target on 66 for 4.

But then Stanikzai, who was dropped at long on with Afghanistan still behind the rate, and Nabi went into overdrive, cracking four sixes between them. Gary Kidd, the bowler to suffer the drop, was dispatched for 17 in his solitary over of the innings. Nabi became Cusack's second victim of the innings with two runs still needed, but Raees Ahmadzai helped Stanikzai secure the contest with room to spare.

Afghanistan meet India in their first game on Saturday while Ireland play hosts West Indies on Friday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Swaminathan on April 29, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    Its too funny... Certainly Afghanistan is a good upcoming thing and no shortage of talent. To add to it, they have the attitude and intensity to go with it - but feeling confident about beating India or SA or for that matter even a team like Bdesh isnt the way to go and it certainly wont be easy. The important thing is to put up a fighting performance against Ind and SA and take positives out of it... And seriously guys - stop making outrageous statements like Afghanistan will win the T20 WC or would beat the TOP teams... such comments make all the other key points in your comment funny and not so serious...

  • James on April 29, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Best system for the finals themselves would be that used in Rugby sevens. Sixteen teams in four groups of four, with the top two of each going on to quarter finals for the cup - AND the bottom two from each playing off in their own plate competition. Sure, there'd likely be some mismatches in the group stage - you'll always get that - but you'd have excellent competition in both the top 8 and bottom 8 stages with the better association teams getting a fair crack at playing the poorer full members in the plate competition.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    T20 should not be treated the way the 50-50 World Cup or the ICC Champs Trophy are treated. It should go the World Cup Soccer way where you have qualifiers from every continent or zone. ASIA - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh automatically qualify and 2 from Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Singapore, Malaysia, China go through (6). ASIA PACIFIC: Australia and NZ automatically qualify and 1 from Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea go through (3). AMERICAS: West Indies automatically qualify and can have 1 out of the two - USA & Canada - going through. (2). Similarly in EUROPE - England and Ireland automatically qualify with 1 from Scotland, Wales, Netherlands, Germany going through (3). And from AFRICA: South Africa and Zimbabwe automatically go through while 2 from Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and more qualify (4). Therefore the T-20 W-Cup (where ne1 can win) could have 18 teams instead of the same old teams playing each other again and again. That's also how Cricket should spread globally

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    I am sure, Afghanistan will fulfill expectations of every Afghans, Afghanistan's TV channel will telecast Live all these matches

  • Terry on April 29, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    I am not surprised that Australia went down to Zimbarbwe. However what I am frastrated with is the continued belief that the test teams should be automatically granted spots in the World T20 Cup without qualification. Australia & Bangladesh both failed to reach the second round (top 8) in last World T20 Cup (only 9 months ago), but both automatically qualified, and yet Ireland (a top 8 seeded team) had to qualify. And to make it worse, Netherlands (who bet England in last World T20 Cup and almost made it to second round) missed out on qualifying as there is only 2 spots available (one which was taken by Ireland, a top 8 team). I think the only solution is to have regional qualifiers for all full & associate teams (5 - 8 games per team) where top 8 teams (3 Asia, 2 EAP and 1 each other 3 regions) directly qualify with next 2 of each region play for final 2 spots. This would make it a 10 team competition World Cup, allowing the removal of the Group stage with all teams getting a chance.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    well done aghans ,same is expected of you guys just put on this impressive perfomance as u deserve victory....

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Any team in T20 can upset others.Still South Africa, India and Australia will be tough to be upseted by minnows.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Well, that was a gem of great performance if not an excellent or perfect one they recovered so unexpectedly. I wish them all the best can't sleep till saturday to watch how they stand out against India, i am sure this win was a wake up alarm for india so they will not take it easy with afghanistan

    Go afghansitan All they way and BUNG BUNG IT AND BRING IT HOME

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    wow afghan player wow kkep it on we will beat india ishallah

  • MOBIN on April 29, 2010, 8:04 GMT


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