Kabul 163 for 4 beat Paktia 162
Kabul have won Afghanistan's first national title, emerging victorious in the final of the Etilsalat Trophy inter-provincial tournament against Paktia by six wickets and 11 overs to spare on Thursday at the National Youth Cricket Ground.
In home conditions, Kabul won the toss and opted to bowl.
Paktia’s openers added 39 in 10 overs before Aftab Alam dismissed Ghami. Paktia stumbled to 55 for four before Abdul Wahab stabilised the innings. However, when he was dismissed, Kabul were on top, having restricted Paktia to 94 for five in 32.1 overs.
Alam and Kabul captain Noor-ul-Haq had taken wickets regularly for their team, denying Paktia any chance of increasing their run-rate. Rokhan routed Paktia's late order, and helped bowl them out for 162.
Kabul began the chase in positive style,racing to 32 for no loss from the first three overs. Although a couple of maiden overs had slowed Kabul's tempo, they had still reached 54 from 10 overs before Afsar Zazai was trapped in front by Hamid to give Paktia their first wicket.
Security guards took positions around the boundary, as the crowd began to grow restless in anticipation of a victory. There was a moment of anxiety when captain Noor-ul-Haq heaved a delivery from Rahmat Shah Zurmati to point to give Paktia some hope.
Imran Khan Stanikzai, though, continued to dominate for Kabul, propelling his team to 102 for two from 20 overs. By the time Fazel Niazai had Imran caught-behind, Kabul needed just 46 runs from 24 overs.
Although one more wicket was lost, Kabul reached the required 162 with 11 overs to spare.