Afghanistan vs Namibia, 27th Match, Group 2, Abu Dhabi, Oct 31 2021
Match Result: Afghanistan won by 62 runs
Player of the Match: Naveen-ul-Haq
Match Report: Naib uses those strong muscles and has Asghar on his shoulders and carries him almost to the boundary line. More hugs and handshakes for the veteran. He has been a wonderful icon for Afghanistan cricket. A journey of almost 12 years has ended today. A journey which has witnessed so many hard days for the Afghanistan cricket team has ended on a happy note as well.
Afghanistan reached 160 and once they did that they always had Namibia under some immense pressure. The pressure showed as well and Namibian batters fell one after another. They had no one standing up to this world class bowling attack which was without Mujeeb. But Naveen, Naib and Hamid bowled with a lot of intent and bowled cleverly enough to get rid of the batters.
Asghar Afghan could have timed his retirement better but then it is such a personal call and his team did really well to ensure they provide him the best possible farewell. The batters started off on the fast lanes, then they were in trouble for a while before a final hurrah propelled them to 160.
Once they had that, their bowlers just choked the opposition batting. The seamers for a change came to the party. Hamid bowled really quick and that was too hot to handle. Naib bowled a disciplined line and Naveen bowled large number of slower balls to trick the batter almost every time.
Naveen-ul-Haq, Player of the Match – “[He wants to dedicate it to Asghar Afghan and presents him the trophy] This was the first time I used the new-ball, so I had a look at the wicket and thought variations would be the key. It’s special to play in front of fans and I want to thank them for supporting us.
He is the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced (on Asghar), he has done a lot for our cricket, his name will be etched in the annals of our history and he’ll be missed a lot by all of us.”
Gerhald Erasmus | Losing captain: “A bowling attack like that would have been tough and we knew that. First game here and the grass was cut off for some reasons. They got away with the bat as we leaked a few runs in the PP. A few partnerships stretched deep for them.
The pitch didn’t change much. We tried to chase but their quality showed. The quality in the attack and in their country is wonderful. We are aware of the challenges. We need to make use of this level. This is a stepping stone for the future.”
Mohammad Nabi | Winning captain: “The boys have had good morale in the team. We do discuss during team meetings that we might chase at times as well. I tell the openers to go and play their game. Just go and enjoy your cricket. We are always depending on spinners but we have some quality seamers as well.
Hamid bowled brilliantly today. Last night, he (Asghar Afghan) told me that tomorrow would be my last game and I was shocked. It was his decision. He has captained the side for almost 6-7 years. He was very consistent with his captaincy in T20Is. He had already decided that tomorrow will be my last game.”