Monday, April 20, 2009
After just missing out on qualification for the 2011 World Cup Afghanistan celebrated their first match with official One Day International status by defeating Scotland in the fifth-place play-off at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa.
Playing in Benoni, the Afghans, who had already beaten Scotland in the Super Eight stages just two games ago, won by 89 runs after setting the Scots a target of 296 to win from their 50 overs.
Afghanistan's fearless playing style was once again crucial as Noor Ali raced to 45 off just 28 deliveries, before fifties from Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari carried the side to 295 for 6.
Afghanistan's final total was effectively six an over and proved too much for Scotland.
Neil McCallum scored 25 from 33 deliveries to offer some hope but he was given out lbw and after that Afghanistan took over.
There was a late flurry from Scotland through final pairing of John Blain and Gordon Drummond.
But, with 10 overs still in hand, Blain was finally bowled for 41, having shared a 63-run partnership with Drummond, who was left undefeated on 25. Hamid Hassan ended with three for 33 from his eight overs.
Before the match Hassan had revealed the pride he felt at his team's achievements.
He said: "It is the proudest day of my life knowing that I am going to have the opportunity to play one-day international cricket for Afghanistan. I feel absolutely wonderful – it is a brilliant achievement for our country."
Next up for Afghanistan is the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier for the tournament to be held in the Caribbean in 2010.
Afghanistan, along with Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, Holland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates will have ODI status for the next four years.