Afghanistan sit above Sri Lanka and England, with a better run-rate. They should be proud. So should Scotland. They have provided a spectacle that will live long in memory as long as there is a World Cup. It's a pity it's over, but we should be wary of more such madness coming our way. This is Alagappan Muthu, elated that his fingers ache beyond description
"It was the time to save wickets, pitch wasn't that hard to bat on," Shenwari says to Star Sports. "We just needed to stay there and push the game in deep. It was big tension for me, my heart was beating so fast and I had to say to myself control it, control it, control it. Dawlat stayed with me, and that's what I said to him. Even if it's a maiden or a single, don't think about that. Just wait for the last five overs. He was always telling me I can hit, but I said I can hit and I am not hitting, so why do you want to?
"When he hit the shot, I told him why did you do it? Why did you do it? but he wasn't responding. That's why I was angry. I believed in them, we trust each other and that's why we got to the last over. All I said was give me company and I will do the job.
"The one thing, the wind was there and even if I hit it off the bottom of the bat, wind will take it over. We had two weeks here and it's a beautiful place to be."
Aaron: "I'm a New Zealander, and unless we lift the Cup next month I'm unlikely to ever see anything as heartwarming as an Afghan win at any World Cup."
Pawan: "Surprised. No one is talking about Hamid Hassan, great effort from number 10 to stay there for 75 mins and 40 odd balls."
SAGAR: "I did predict Scotland win but I am happy that at least a sub-continent team other than India defeated outside sub-continent team "
Mohammad Naveed: "The Celebration has started in Kabul, and lots of air firing on that occasion. "
titas kar: "I had fever today,but still came to my hospital. Fortunately very few patients turned up, and I kept cricinfo commentary on. Was so afraid of jinxing Afghanistan, that is didn't check out all the Whatsapp notifications that came in!! Shenwari had made me sweat in my chair!! And Al Muthu, hats off..... Your words have power!! "
nutsy: "if we look as a whole, nothing much to choose between these two teams..early wickets fell, then stability, then middle order collapse and then lower order come back...but Afg clamped the final nail..."
Keshav: "Cracker jack match. Shenwari deserved the hundred to take Afghanistan over the line, idea was right from him, but since he had got 3 sixes, he could have probably afforded to wait for the next over to go for another big shot, ah well, he won't have complaints now. Shows how much of a difference lower order runs can make. If Afghanisthan had shut down Scotland's tail they could have cruised this and likewise from Scotland. Superb match though, a good old fashioned slow burner, like a good Hitchcock movie amidst many contemporary poor thrillers. "
"This is our first win in the World Cup and everyone enjoys this one," says Mohammad Nabi, the winning Afghanistan captain. "The pressure was great. The boys didnt' bat well, four five wickets early but Sami [Shenwari] played very well. Good learning experience about handling the pressure and for our upcoming games, it';s good as well. Putting two points on the board. Hope we win more games, everyone would have enjoyed this game. its out first win in the World Cup. We've had good support here and also back home"
"Particularly difficult for us," says Mommsen, "We knew what to expect. We knew if we were patient we can take a couple of wickets and get more. We had them seven down, but we couldn';t do it. Obviously we were trying to take wickets the whole time. Those 8, 9, 10, but unfortunately it wasn't to be."
Shenwari is Man of the Match "Thanks to Allah, thankful to stay there in the end and give the win for Afghanistan. We lost five wickets early and I had the resposibility to stay there till the end. Poor shot, but I was trying to get a six. Good win for us in the tournament and we are looking forward to win more and get into the Super Eight"
R.Guru Sankar: "85/2 --> 97/8 --> 211/9. What a ride! "
ali jan Rafique: "I am in public metro station and i want to shouting that Afghanistan have done it"
Chris: "Forget the full-member nations. Let's leave them out of the World Cup (they have the Champions Trophy anyway). Let's just have 16 Associate teams. Those guys always provide the most memorable highlights of the World Cups."
7.10 pm Two teams that have laid it all and then some more on the line. The Scottish have been so resilient. Alasdair Evans and Majid Haq needed to rewrite a national record for the ninth wicket and they bowled their skins out. It was a small total, they had to contend with Javed Ahmadi racing off at the top. And then came the double-strikes, a middle-overs collapse engineered by spectacularly disciplined bowling, full of belief and will. Richie Berrington is a dibbly-dobbly medium pacer but he bowled seriously well. Forced Afghanistan to 96 for 6 and Shenwari was wondering what he could do to stop it. He was consuming too many balls. He was not picking the gaps as he wanted. But then he buckled down. He told himself this was the World Cup. This is the occasion he had waited for so long and took control of the situation. Calculated blows, frantic running, pure unbreakable belief from him as well. And he won out, thanks to a little help from the phenomenal Shapoor Zadran
Four of four! But only two fielders are outside the circle
Mini conference between captain and bowler. Actually six in the circle
Six balls left, five runs needed for Afghanistan, one wicket for Scotland. This is the World Cup at it's best. Eight men up on in the ring!
The ground has lost it's fervour now. It's all silent in Dunedin. Everyone is glued to the ball
Midwicket comes up, Mid-off is up. Scotland are fiddling with the field and taking their sweet time doing it. Slip is also in. They're slowing the game down, good job that
Afghanistan need 14 off 12 now! Scotland need only one wicket, and Berrington is searching for a five-for
Astavirs: "@Kiran - As House.M.D says, if you want fair, you picked the wrong species."
Sukrit Khatri: "Weirdly enough - winner and loser are the same in this match - Cricket. Can't digest that either of them might not play in 2019. "
17 off 14 now as Shenwari hugs his helmet
Kiran: "Life is so unfair. There is no body who deservs a 100 more than Shenwari. Anyway, I hope he retains the tape of the game so that his grand kids know the legend of their grandfather. "
Point goes back, Evans is bowling around and has two slips
The equation reduces to 19 off 18, Scotland need one more wicket. Both teams on the cusp of their maiden World Cup win. Time for Evans to step up again. 9-1-25-2. Mommsen has a slip, a deep point, a mid-off. a point and a cover
Rajendra: "What a fight back .. spell bound"
Salman: "Samiullah Shenwari could be second Misbah-ul-Haq, based on his average and of course for leaving right after bringing the match closer :-)" And missing centuries
Cameron: "Remember Shapoor smashed an unbeaten 40-odd in an exhibition match a year or two back? Afghanistan aren't out yet"
All is not lost for Afghanistan, even if Shenwari has his helmet in his hands in the dug out. What can Shapoor Zadran do? Can Scotland make their play here? Slip in place
Raja: "Don't worry Afghanistan. Hassan will rescue you. 19 off 18 is doable."