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Afghanistan Making Rapid Strides In International Cricket

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(Photo by AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Since the mid of 19th century, Cricket has been played in Afghanistan but since the past few years, the national team has performed brilliantly.

Afghanistan Cricket Board was formed in 1995 and then was an affiliate member of International Cricket Council in 2001. They also become the member of Asian Cricket Council in 2003. It got its associate membership of ICC in June 2013.

5 Reasons Why India Cannot Take Afghanistan Lightly In Their Debut Test Match

T20I’s

On 7th June 2018, Afghanistan whitewashed test playing nation Bangladesh 3-0 in the T20I series played at Dehradun. Without playing at their home ground, no proper facilities and playing on other grounds, the Afghanistan cricket team showed their class by outplaying a test playing nation.

In the 3 match ODI series against Bangladesh, Rashid Khan was the pick of bowlers picking 8 wickets and troubling the Bangladesh batsmen with his variations. The number 1 bowler in T20I cricket, Rashid Khan also became the fastest bowler to pick 50 wickets. This was Afghanistan first bilateral series win over Bangladesh.

Afghanistan made their T20I debut in 1st February 2010. They have played 66 T20I matches and have won 44 matches, losing just 22 matches. Their record in T20I cricket playing against test playing nations is good which include 7 wins out of 7 against Zimbabwe,  3 wins out of 4 against Bangladesh, 7 wins out of 10 against Ireland. Afghanistan proved their worth by beating defending Champions West Indies in the World T20 played in 2016.

Afghanistan record against Associate members is great winning 2 out 2 matches against Canada, 3 wins out of 5 against Hong Kong, 2 wins out of 3 against Kenya, 2 wins out of 4 against the Netherlands, 5 out of 5 wins against Oman, 6 wins out of 6 against Scotland and 5 out of 6 wins over the United Arab Emirates.

Mohammad Shahzad is the leading runs scorer for Afghanistan in T20I cricket with 1906 runs, followed by Mohammad Nabi with 995 runs. Experienced Shenwari has scored so far 966 runs, Asghar Stanikzai with 963 runs and Najibullah Zadran with 684 runs.

Among the leading wicket-takers, Mohammad Nabi tops the table with 65 wickets, Rashid Khan with 55 wickets, Dawlat Zadran with 39, Shapoor Zadran with 35 and Hamid Hasan with 32.

(Photo by AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Afghanistan made their T20I World Cup debut in 2010. In the first two editions in 2010 and 2012, they lost both their group matches. In 2014 edition, Afghanistan defeated Hong Kong during the qualifying round finishing in 14th place out of 16 teams.

In 2016 edition of World T20 Cup held in India, Afghanistan was in Group B during the qualifying tournament. By winning all 3 matches, they progressed into the main tournament. In the main tournament, Afghanistan gave a tough fight to strong teams like Sri Lanka, England, and South Africa but could not beat them.

In the final group match, Afghanistan defeated West Indies and showed their talent to the world. Afghanistan highest score in T20I cricket is 233 for 8 against Ireland on 12th March 2017 at Greater Noida while lowest score was against Bangladesh on 16th March 2014 at Dhaka. Afghanistan highest individual scorer in T20I cricket is Mohammad Shahzad of 118* against Zimbabwe on January 10th 2016 at Sharjah.

Rashid Khan holds the best figures with 5 wickets for 3 runs against Ireland on 10th March 2017 at Greater Noida.   In 2017, Afghanistan toured West Indies for a three 3 match T20I series but lost all three matches.  Afghanistan whitewashed Ireland in 3 matches T20I series played at Greater Noida last year.

One Day Internationals

©ICC/Getty Images

Afghanistan made their One-day international debut on 19th April 2012. Their first match against a full member nation was against Pakistan in Feb 2012 and then took on Australia in only ODI match in August 2012. In July 2014, Afghanistan visited Zimbabwe for a 4 match ODI series against a full member nation.  Afghanistan drew the series 2-2.

They have played 91 ODI’s, winning 51 and losing 45 matches.

Their record against test playing nations includes 3 wins out 5 against West Indies. Out of those of 5 matches against West Indies, 1 is no result and 1 is the loss. Against Zimbabwe, Afghanistan has a great ODI record winning 15 out of 25 matches. Afghanistan does have any wins over top test playing nations against India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand. Their record in ODI against Bangladesh is decent with 2 wins out of 5.

Afghanistan has a great record against Associate members with 4 wins out of 5 against Canada, 4 wins out of 6 against Kenya, 4 wins out of 6 against the Netherlands, 7 wins out of 12 against Scotland. Against UAE, they have an equal record of 3 wins and 3 losses out of 6 matches.

©ICC/Getty Images

Afghanistan took part in their first 50 over Asia Cup during 2014 edition. Afghanistan won against Bangladesh by 32 runs and showed promise with their fighting spirit against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. They finished fourth with 1 win out 4 matches.

Their highest scores in One-day international cricket were 338 against Ireland on 17th March 2017 while the lowest total was 58 against Zimbabwe in 2016.

Five Reasons Why We Should Look Forward To India vs Afghanistan Test Match

In 2009, Afghanistan team attained ODI status till 2015. Their biggest achievement to play the 50 over World Cup held in New Zealand and Australia.  Knowing the condition in their country, Afghanistan cricket team realized the dream of playing a cricket world cup. Their first World Cup match was against Bangladesh which they lost by a massive margin by 105 runs.

Afghanistan won their first World Cup match against Scotland by 1 wicket. After the World Cup 2015, Afghanistan again visited Zimbabwe and won a historic series by 3-2.

Afghanistan played their home matches in Greater Noida during March 2017 against Ireland. The Afghan won the ODI series 3-2. In June 2017, Afghanistan toured a test playing nation with West Indies and drew the 3 match series 1-1 after the 3rd match was washed out.

Afghanistan qualified for 2019 World Cup to be held in England. They achieved the impossible as they finished 3rd in the group stages during the ICC World Cup qualifiers this year. In Super Six stage, it was a great performance by Afghanistan side to win all three matches and also won the tournament beating West Indies in the finals.

Mohammad Shahzad is the top scorer by a batsman for Afghanistan in ODI cricket with 131* against Zimbabwe in 2015 at Sharjah. Rashid Khan holds the best figures for an Afghan bowler with 7 for 18 against West Indies in 2017.

Mohammad Nabi is the top among leading runs scorer with 2287 runs and also the top wicket taker with 103 wickets.  Rashid Khan is second among leading wicket-takers with 100 wickets.

Afghanistan got the full membership in 2017 along with Ireland.  Their debut test match would be against India from 14th June 2018 and hope to make a mark.

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