ICC World Twenty20 - 3rd match, Group C

Afghanistan v India

India won by 7 wickets (with 31 balls remaining)

The national anthems are over. The Indians are out. The 11th name has been added to the Afghan line-up. Thanks for the heads up. Noor Ali marks his guard. Karim Sadiq is at the other end. Praveen Kumar has the ball. Two slips in place and the batsman walks away! Something in his eye

Toss: The coin nearly settles on the other pitch. Dhoni has won the toss and India will bowl first. The four Indians left out of the XI are Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Dinesh Karthik. Dhoni said there was some moisture on the track. The teams will be updated shortly. India will be up against a team they have no clue about. Not quite the same for the other side though. They're playing against their idols.

Here's more reading material. A documentary team followed the Afghanistan team for 15 months, tracking their quest for World Cup qualification. Leslie Knott has this story.

I'm looking forward to watching Hamid Hassan bowl. He blogged for Cricinfo last year and naturally won a lot of hearts and fans for his performances. What Afghanistan will have to ensure is they don't let the emotions get the better of them when they take the field.

8.45: Game 3 of the World Twenty20 and the action shifts to Gros Islet in St Lucia. It's Afghanistan's first game against a major team. That's the main attraction to kickstart the day. The Indians manage to draw crowds in plenty where ever they travel. But Afghanistan's presence here will generate a lot of curiosity. So here's wishing them well.

We've heard the words "extraordinary journey" almost each time Afghanistan is mentioned. Till I come up with a fresh set of words, here's some interesting reading material on them to keep you occupied.

Will Luke caught up with them at the World Cup qualifiers last year. He managed to catch up with two of their players, Hamid Hassan and Raees Ahmadzai.

The toss will happen shortly.

0.1

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, big away swing straightaway, lands outside off and swerves, left alone safely

0.2

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, Ali fishes at this one outside off, he wasnt sure what to do with that

0.3

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 leg byes, drifts on the pads and he clips it away off his pads down to fine leg

0.4

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, swings it in and he gets an inside edge to the thigh pad, Sadiq sprints quickly to the other end

0.5

Kumar to Karim Sadiq, no run, A super confident Sadiq walks down the pitch early to challenge Praveen early but he's completely beaten for swing, easy Mr Sadiq, easy

0.6

Kumar to Karim Sadiq, no run, now he tries to smash that into the sea, makes width and swishes hard at thin air

End of over 1 (3 runs) Afghanistan 3/0 (RR: 3.00)
Karim Sadiq    0* (2b)      P Kumar    1-0-1-0
Noor Ali Zadran    1* (4b)     

Nehra to bowl, the umpire monitors the sight screen

1.1

Nehra to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, cuts back in and he knocks it towards square leg for a single

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1.2

Nehra to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, he gives him width outside off and he opens the face of the bat and angles it to square third man

1.3

Nehra to Karim Sadiq, no run, Sadiq still fails to make contact, this one holds its line and beats the edge as it goes to the keeper

1.4

Nehra to Karim Sadiq, OUT, Sadiq was a walking wicket all along, Nehra bowls it a bit short on the leg stump, Sadiq follows it, makes room and tries to pull but the ball clips his glove and lobs to Dhoni, easy decision

Karim Sadiq c †Dhoni b Nehra 0 (4m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Mohammad Shahzad walks in

1.5

Nehra to Mohammad Shahzad, 2 runs, skids towards the pads and he clips it away in the air and down to the vacant midwicket region

1.6

Nehra to Mohammad Shahzad, no run, he's forced on the backfoot and uneasily fends it to the on side

Aneesh: "I am an Indian, but after reading the Afghan stories, I would have some happy tears if Afghans win against their idols (it would be a perfect Hollywood material too)."

End of over 2 (5 runs) Afghanistan 8/1 (RR: 4.00)
Mohammad Shahzad    2* (2b)      A Nehra    1-0-5-1
Noor Ali Zadran    4* (6b)      P Kumar    1-0-1-0

2.1

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, this time he manages to clip it away off his pads and beats short midwicket, Gambhir picks it up

2.2

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, this one straightens but the batsman doesn't move his feet and nearly edges it to the keeper

2.3

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, FOUR, Praveen bowls a poor ball and Noor makes him pay, he strays on the pads and Noor shuffles and gently works it on its way to fine leg

2.4

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, punched in the air to the off side and Jadeja does extremely well to slide and cut it off one handed

2.5

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, that just fizzed through and nearly cleaned up Noor, so close to the outside edge outside off

2.6

Kumar to Noor Ali Zadran, FOUR, one for the highlights reel! He stays beside the line and punches it sweetly past backward point, great timing

End of over 3 (10 runs) Afghanistan 18/1 (RR: 6.00)
Noor Ali Zadran    14* (12b 2x4)      P Kumar    2-0-11-0
Mohammad Shahzad    2* (2b)      A Nehra    1-0-5-1

3.1

Nehra to Mohammad Shahzad, FOUR, frees his arms! Nehra drifts on the pads and Shahzad heaves it across the line and beats square leg, that sped away

3.2

Nehra to Mohammad Shahzad, no run, nips back in sharply and Shahzad hops at the crease and fends it off

3.3

Nehra to Mohammad Shahzad, OUT, the short one does the trick again! Nehra bangs it down the leg side and Shahzad tries to hook but ends up lobbing it to Dhoni, the ball hits the helmet for sure but did it catch the glove or the edge as well? Erasmus thought it clipped something else too

Mohammad Shahzad c †Dhoni b Nehra 6 (6m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 120.00

3.4

Nehra to Nawroz Mangal, no run, plays high on the bat and defends to the off side

3.5

Nehra to Nawroz Mangal, no run, forced on the backfoot again to defend

3.6

Nehra to Nawroz Mangal, no run

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End of over 4 (4 runs) Afghanistan 22/2 (RR: 5.50)
Nawroz Mangal    0* (3b)      A Nehra    2-0-9-2
Noor Ali Zadran    14* (12b 2x4)      P Kumar    2-0-11-0

Here's Zaheer

4.1

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, stays rooted to the crease and defends back to the bowler

4.2

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, excellent running, just taps it with soft hands in front of mid-off and calls immediately

4.3

Khan to Nawroz Mangal, 1 wide, bangs it short down the leg side and Mangal fails in his attempt to whack it

4.3

Khan to Nawroz Mangal, no run, teases him outside the off stump and Mangal stays at the crease and plays half heartedly at it

4.4

Khan to Nawroz Mangal, no run

4.5

Khan to Nawroz Mangal, FOUR, goes for the flat batted swat and he succeeds in beating Harbhajan at mid-on, he didnt time his dive well

4.6

Khan to Nawroz Mangal, 1 run, tucked towards fine leg

End of over 5 (7 runs) Afghanistan 29/2 (RR: 5.80)
Nawroz Mangal    5* (7b 1x4)      Z Khan    1-0-7-0
Noor Ali Zadran    15* (14b 2x4)      A Nehra    2-0-9-2

Spin now, here's Jadeja

Dave: "My prayers have been answered. No more DLF maximums, Karbonn kamal catches, Citi moments of success, MRF blimps or mind-numbing ads (atleast for next couple of months), just Cricket (althought I do prefer Tests). It's like I am in heaven."

5.1

Jadeja to Nawroz Mangal, no run, he gives him the charge immediately but places it to mid-off

5.2

Jadeja to Nawroz Mangal, no run, defended softly to the on side

5.3

Jadeja to Nawroz Mangal, no run, flighted on leg and tucked down to mid-on

5.4

Jadeja to Nawroz Mangal, OUT, Mangal tries to take Jadeja downtown but the journey ends at mid-off, comes down the pitch but ends up chipping it to Gambhir at a comfortable height

Nawroz Mangal c Gambhir b Jadeja 5 (9m 11b 1x4 0x6) SR: 45.45

5.5

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, tucked in the air to short square leg

5.6

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, gets forward and defends

End of over 6 (wicket maiden) Afghanistan 29/3 (RR: 4.83)
Asghar Stanikzai    0* (2b)      RA Jadeja    1-1-0-1
Noor Ali Zadran    15* (14b 2x4)      Z Khan    1-0-7-0

6.1

Yuvraj Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, tosses it up slowly outside off and he drives to sweeper cover

6.2

Yuvraj Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, full and in the length to drive and he pushes it to short extra cover

6.3

Yuvraj Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, driven to short extra cover again

6.4

Yuvraj Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, stays back and punches it down to mid-on

6.5

Yuvraj Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, skids through and he stays back and defends

6.6

Yuvraj Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, bowls it flat and short and he punches it wide of mid-off

End of over 7 (4 runs) Afghanistan 33/3 (RR: 4.71)
Noor Ali Zadran    18* (17b 2x4)      Yuvraj Singh    1-0-4-0
Asghar Stanikzai    1* (5b)      RA Jadeja    1-1-0-1

7.1

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, tossed up outside off and drives to cover

7.2

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, gets forward and checks his shot to mid-on

7.3

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, well tossed up and he gets a leading edge to the off side

7.4

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, quicker through the air and softly defended

7.5

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, the straighter one this time and the batsman's beaten

7.6

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, Noor makes a lot of room and cuts him down to deep point

End of over 8 (2 runs) Afghanistan 35/3 (RR: 4.37)
Noor Ali Zadran    19* (20b 2x4)      Harbhajan Singh    1-0-2-0
Asghar Stanikzai    2* (8b)      Yuvraj Singh    1-0-4-0

8.1

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, FOUR, good shot! Noor makes room, reads the length early, rocks back and slaps it over extra cover, beats the fielder in the deep

8.2

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, turned towards midwicket

8.3

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, gets well forward and defends

8.4

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, fires it full and flat and catches him low on the front pad outside the line of leg, stifled appeal

8.5

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, gets forward and defends it back to the bowler

8.6

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, comes forward but he can't work it away for a run

It won't hurt if Afghanistan focus on milking it around for singles and twos. The big shots aren't really helping them, apart from Noor

End of over 9 (5 runs) Afghanistan 40/3 (RR: 4.44)
Asghar Stanikzai    2* (12b)      RA Jadeja    2-1-5-1
Noor Ali Zadran    24* (22b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    1-0-2-0

9.1

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, gets forward and drives wide of mid-off

9.2

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run

9.3

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, punched towards cover and he scampers the single

9.4

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, staggers at the crease, the ball bounces a bit more and hits his pad

9.5

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, extra bounce again and he nearly feathers an edge

9.6

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, quicker through the air and defended down the pitch

End of over 10 (3 runs) Afghanistan 43/3 (RR: 4.30)
Asghar Stanikzai    3* (16b)      Harbhajan Singh    2-0-5-0
Noor Ali Zadran    26* (24b 3x4)      RA Jadeja    2-1-5-1

10.1

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, full and driven down to long-on

10.2

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, SIX, first one over the ropes! He uses his feet to a delivery pitched on middle and leg and heaves it over deep midwicket

10.3

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 leg bye, turned to the on side

10.4

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, nearly gets a leading edge back to the bowler

10.5

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, quicker through the air an clipped to square leg

10.6

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, sashays down the track but checks his shot and punches it to cover

End of over 11 (9 runs) Afghanistan 52/3 (RR: 4.72)
Asghar Stanikzai    9* (19b 1x6)      RA Jadeja    3-1-13-1
Noor Ali Zadran    28* (27b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    2-0-5-0

11.1

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, makes a lot of room and cuts him down to short third man

11.2

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, tossed up and he clips it in the air down to deep midwicket

11.3

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, turns it to deep square leg

11.4

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run

11.5

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run

11.6

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, stays back and defends

End of over 12 (5 runs) Afghanistan 57/3 (RR: 4.75)
Asghar Stanikzai    10* (22b 1x6)      Harbhajan Singh    3-0-10-0
Noor Ali Zadran    32* (30b 3x4)      RA Jadeja    3-1-13-1

12.1

Pathan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 wide, stays back and defends to the on side

12.1

Pathan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, punches it towards mid-on

12.2

Pathan to Asghar Stanikzai, no run, comes down the pitch and checks his shot to the on side

12.3

Pathan to Asghar Stanikzai, 2 runs, down the pitch again and he drives it down to midwicket

12.4

Pathan to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run

12.5

Pathan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run

12.6

Pathan to Asghar Stanikzai, SIX, take a bow Asghar! He reads the flight early, gets on his knee early and heaves him over deep midwicket, it's a big ground and he has enough power on it to clear the rope

End of over 13 (12 runs) Afghanistan 69/3 (RR: 5.30)
Asghar Stanikzai    19* (26b 2x6)      YK Pathan    1-0-12-0
Noor Ali Zadran    34* (32b 3x4)      Harbhajan Singh    3-0-10-0

13.1

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, FOUR, that's confidence for you, he makes room, chips down the track and carves it over extra cover

13.2

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, plays very late and pushes it to mid-off

13.3

Khan to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, stays back and clips him down to midwicket

13.4

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, goes back and punches it down to deep point

13.5

Khan to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, attempts a yorker but he digs out a low full toss down to deep point

13.6

Khan to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, fired on the pads and clipped down to deep midwicket

The batsman has been changed from Shenwari to Stanikzai. Bit of confusion. Apologies

End of over 14 (10 runs) Afghanistan 79/3 (RR: 5.64)
Noor Ali Zadran    42* (36b 4x4)      Z Khan    2-0-17-0
Asghar Stanikzai    21* (28b 2x6)      YK Pathan    1-0-12-0

14.1

Jadeja to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, down the track and punches it to long-off

14.2

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, places it straight to cover

14.3

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, no run

14.4

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, attempts the reverse sweep but he finds point

14.5

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, makes room to cut but finds point again

14.6

Jadeja to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, tossed up on the pads and he clips him down to long-on

End of over 15 (2 runs) Afghanistan 81/3 (RR: 5.40)
Noor Ali Zadran    43* (41b 4x4)      RA Jadeja    4-1-15-1
Asghar Stanikzai    22* (29b 2x6)      Z Khan    2-0-17-0

15.1

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, comes down the track and chips it in the air towards long-on, Raina picks it up

15.2

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, tossed up and tucked towards fine leg

These two have already crossed 50 together

15.3

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, SIX, well done! Asghar Stanikzai reads the flight early, gets on his knee and shovels it about 7 rows back over deep midwicket

15.4

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 wide, slides down the leg side

15.4

Harbhajan Singh to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, tucks it down to square leg

15.5

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 2 runs, flighted on middle and leg and pushed to long-on

15.6

Harbhajan Singh to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, opens the face of the bat and steers it inside out to point

End of over 16 (14 runs) Afghanistan 95/3 (RR: 5.93)
Noor Ali Zadran    49* (45b 4x4)      Harbhajan Singh    4-0-24-0
Asghar Stanikzai    29* (31b 3x6)      RA Jadeja    4-1-15-1

Very impressive stuff from Afghanistan. India won't be pleased with the way things have gone

16.1

Nehra to Noor Ali Zadran, no run, bangs it in short and Noor bends his knee and sways away

16.2

Nehra to Noor Ali Zadran, 1 run, tucks it down to square leg and that's his fifty! Commendable performance from the opener

16.3

Nehra to Asghar Stanikzai, 1 run, the slower bouncer and he stays at the crease and pulls along the turf to square leg

16.4

Nehra to Noor Ali Zadran, OUT, the short one works again for Nehra, Noor makes room and tries to slog him away but the ball clips the edge and lobs to the keeper

Noor Ali Zadran c †Dhoni b Nehra 50 (56m 48b 4x4 0x6) SR: 104.16

16.5

Nehra to Mohammad Nabi, no run

the music was on just as the bowler ran in to deliver and Aleem Dar signaled at the right time for the bowler to stop short

16.6

Nehra to Mohammad Nabi, no run, Nabi is cramped for room and he tucks it back to the bowler

End of over 17 (2 runs) Afghanistan 97/4 (RR: 5.70)
Mohammad Nabi    0* (2b)      A Nehra    3-0-11-3
Asghar Stanikzai    30* (32b 3x6)      Harbhajan Singh    4-0-24-0

17.1

Kumar to Asghar Stanikzai, OUT, Praveen hits the deck hard and gets a wicket, Stanikzai stays at the crease to pull but gets a top edge taken easily by Zaheer near midwicket

Asghar Stanikzai c Khan b Kumar 30 (35m 33b 0x4 3x6) SR: 90.90

17.2

Kumar to Mohammad Nabi, OUT, catching practice again, Nabi tries to smack this over the on side but gets a tame top edge taken by Dhoni, he barely had to move from his position

Mohammad Nabi c †Dhoni b Kumar 0 (2m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

17.3

Kumar to Raees Ahmadzai, 1 run, the hat-trick ball is not a short one for some reason, on the pads and tucked down to mid-on

17.4

Kumar to Samiullah Shenwari, no run, another full delivery outside off this time and pushed down to cover

17.5

Kumar to Samiullah Shenwari, 1 run, low full toss, squeezed down to long-off

17.6

Kumar to Raees Ahmadzai, 1 run, yorker length on middle and squirted past the bowler

End of over 18 (3 runs) Afghanistan 100/6 (RR: 5.55)
Raees Ahmadzai    2* (2b)      P Kumar    3-0-14-2
Samiullah Shenwari    1* (2b)      A Nehra    3-0-11-3

18.1

Nehra to Raees Ahmadzai, 1 run, good length on middle and leg and clipped down to deep square leg

18.2

Nehra to Samiullah Shenwari, no run, the short ball cramps him up for room, looked like he attempted the upper cut, missed it completely

18.3

Nehra to Samiullah Shenwari, 2 runs, comes down the pitch and heaves, gets a top edge over the keeper and three men converge, Zaheer runs across from third man and cuts it off

18.4

Nehra to Samiullah Shenwari, FOUR, gets a bit of width outside off, gets his front foot forward and slaps it wide of mid-off, not elegant but effective

18.5

Nehra to Samiullah Shenwari, OUT, terrible mixup, he squeezes out a yorker towards midwicket and sets off, Shenwari sets off but his partner wasn't interested, Jadeja lobs the ball to Dhoni but batsmen were at the other end

Samiullah Shenwari run out 7 (6m 6b 1x4 0x6) SR: 116.66

18.6

Nehra to Hamid Hassan, 1 run, makes a bit of room and uneasily taps it to mid-off

End of over 19 (8 runs) Afghanistan 108/7 (RR: 5.68)
Hamid Hassan    1* (1b)      A Nehra    4-0-19-3
Raees Ahmadzai    3* (3b)      P Kumar    3-0-14-2

19.1

Khan to Hamid Hassan, 1 run, full delivery on the leg stump and pushed hard to long-on

19.2

Khan to Raees Ahmadzai, 1 run, full on the stumps and driven to the off side

19.3

Khan to Hamid Hassan, no run, makes room to a yorker but fails to dig it out

19.4

Khan to Hamid Hassan, FOUR, Hassan didn't know where that went, made some room to club it over the on side but got a thick top edge over the keeper

19.5

Khan to Hamid Hassan, OUT, makes room to a full delivery and scoops it down Nehra's throat at mid-off

Hamid Hassan c Nehra b Khan 6 (2m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 120.00

19.6

Khan to Raees Ahmadzai, 1 run, squeezes out a full delivery down to long-on

So Afghanistan's innings was basically about one solid stand of 68 between Noor and Stanikzai. Too bad the others didn't quite match up to that quality. They lost many wickets in the eagerness to play the big shots. They will improve as they play more games. The short ball worked for India.

India should not be troubled too much by this score. Afghanistan will field like tigers, that's assured. Join us shortly for the chase.

End of over 20 (7 runs) Afghanistan 115/8
Raees Ahmadzai    5* (5b)      Z Khan    3-0-24-1
Shapoor Zadran    0* (0b)      A Nehra    4-0-19-3
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Photos

May 1, 2010

M Vijay drives straight down the ground, Afghanistan v India, World Twenty20, Gros Islet, May 1, 2010

M Vijay drives straight down the ground

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May 1, 2010

Afghan cricket fans in Kabul watch their team's game against India, Afghanistan v India, World Twenty20, Gros Islet, May 1, 2010

Afghan cricket fans in Kabul watch their team's game against India

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