Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pakistan beats Afghanistan in one-day cricket match

Pakistan-A players celebrate after the dismissal of Afghanistan's Noor Ali Zadran (unseen) during the first match in their one-day series in Islamabad May 25. Pakistan defeated Afghanistan by five wickets. [REUTERS/Faisal Mahmoo
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan-A defeated Afghanistan by five wickets in the teams’ first unofficial one-day international cricket match in Islamabad May 25.

With temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first, but Pakistan didn't allow the Afghan openers to stick to their crease.

Afghan vice captain Muhammad Nabi played a terrific innings and made 72 off 75 balls with the help of seven 4s and three 6s. He helped Afghanistan reach 152 runs.

Pakistan's Muhammad Talha took three wickets, while Sohail Tanweer and Sadaf Hussain took two each.

Pakistan-A started well but in the middle they stumbled, going 99 for just 2. Experienced players finished the task with more than 10 overs to spare.

“The Pakistani team played well, and all credit goes to them,” Afghan team captain Nawroz Mangal said. “Our team is young, and it’s a good opportunity for them.”

Sohail Tanveer, Pakistan’s captain, said, “It was a good match. The Afghan team is young and still needs to improve in international cricket.”

Pakistan thanked the Afghan team for coming, Tanveer said. It was the first international match in Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in March 2009 in Lahore.
The second match will be May 27 in Rawalpindi.

The match was heavily guarded by police and army personnel. “We are here to provide the best security,” said Inam Ullah Khan, deputy superintendent of Islamabad police.

Naghma Bibi, a Pashtu singer, was on hand to boost Afghan players’ morale. Afterward he assessed the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship.

“I have noticed that the people at the low level want peace between the two countries,” Naghma said.


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