Afghanistan is poised to tackle some of the tournament’s heavyweights after reaching the Super Four.

Afghanistan is poised to tackle some of the tournament's heavyweights after reaching the Super Four.
Afghanistan is poised to tackle some of the tournament’s heavyweights after reaching the Super Four.

Following victories against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Afghanistan is now the first team to qualify for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup. Afghanistan’s captain, Mohammad Nabi, stated that his squad is prepared to take on the top teams in the tournament.

“As a team in this Asia Cup we are showing that Afghanistan has quality batsmen, quality bowlers, and quality fielders,” said all-rounder Nabi after Afghanistan thrashed Bangladesh by seven wickets on Tuesday. “We are showing that Afghanistan has quality batsmen, quality bowlers, and quality fielders.”

These two games shown that we are capable of chasing totals. The earlier opposition frequently asserted that Afghanistan is incapable of chasing.

“But we were fairly excellent (in the two chases), were not under pressure, and had correct balance,” the 37-year-old said, adding that he hoped his squad will do well in the next round against clubs with larger rosters.

After beating Bangladesh in Sharjah, Afghanistan advanced to the next round of the Twenty20 event, which features teams from six different countries.

Najibullah Zadran, who was supported by his brother Ibrahim Zadran, scored six sixes during his undefeated 43-ball innings while chasing down a target of 128 with nine balls to spare (42).

Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, both spin bowlers, took three wickets apiece to demolish the favoured Bangladesh batting lineup in a tournament that served as a warmup for the Twenty20 World Cup that will be held in Australia in October and November. These two bowlers stood out after their performances.

Nabi said the squad has covered all the areas going into the Super Four where they are set to encounter India and Pakistan. Fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi was the standout of his side’s opening triumph over Sri Lanka last week with numbers of 3-11.

Nabi stated, “We are not targeting anyone; we are just playing proper cricket.”

Since beating the odds to play in the World Twenty20 in England in 2010, the Afghan squad, which was given Test status in 2017, has been able to compete in all of the most important international competitions. In 2017, they were given Test status.

The former nomads, many of whom were born or raised in exile, have relocated their bases from Sharjah and Dubai to places near India and Abu Dhabi. Many of them were born or raised in exile.

Since the majority of our matches over the past 15 years have taken place in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi, we are familiar with the playing conditions in those cities, said Nabi.

“A low total may be difficult to chase down in Sharjah at times, which is why, in a modest chase, the batsmen didn’t throw away early wickets. In the end, we targeted the bowlers, and we were successful in winning the game.”

The likes of Rashid, Nabi, and Mujeeb are examples of players who have improved their game by competing in cricket leagues all over the world, including the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mujeeb, a spinner who is 21 years old and shocked Bangladesh with an opening spell of 3-9 in his first three overs, received plaudits from Nabi for his bowling during the powerplay, which refers to the first six overs of the game in which only two fielders are permitted outside the inner circle.

Nabi remarked, “He has always bowled wonderfully in the first six overs,” regarding the bowler’s performance.

He bowlers in the highest leagues and competes against the best competition there is. He is a mystery bowler. He is an experienced spinner.

Jonathan Trott, a former batsman for England, is now the squad’s head coach, while Umar Gul, a former fast bowler for Pakistan, only just joined the team as a bowling coach.

This new coaching squad has been heaped with acclaim from the cricketing community at large. Former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan tweeted that “Afghanistan is playing some quality cricket” in response to Pathan’s tweet praising Afghanistan’s current cricketing performance.

A former India batsman named Ajay Jadeja made these comments on the Indian website cricbuzz. “They are on the move and teams should be careful, India or Pakistan,” he added.

“When you play these people in the Super Four, I won’t be surprised if they take out one of the big teams because they have that firepower,” the commentator said. “When you play these guys in the Super Four.”

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