23 January 2018

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(BNA)  Less than four years after playing their first tournament against teams including Japan and Norway, Afghanistan will write a new chapter in their remarkable rise with a one-day international against Pakistan on Friday.

Afghanistan, unable to host matches during a decade of war between NATO forces and the Taliban, won their initial tournament in Jersey in May 2008.

They qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean two years later and then came within touching distance of a place at last year's 50 overs World Cup in the Asian sub-continent.

The players' consolation was to secure one-day international status and Friday's match in their adopted cricketing home of Sharjah is a chance to test themselves against a Pakistan side who whitewashed England in the recent three-match test series.

Pakistan, who are also forced to play abroad because of security problems, was the country where some of the Afghanistan players were born and where they learned the game in refugee camps.

"I can assure you that millions of Afghanistan cricket supporters across the globe have been waiting for this day which comes after years of hard work, sacrifice and commitment," Nasimullah Danish, the chief executive officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, told Reuters.

"Afghanistan cricket has been taking small but solid steps while making upward movement and it would be fair to say that our next target is to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015."

Those steps include the inauguration of the rebuilt Kabul Cricket Stadium last December when 8,000 spectators came to watch the national senior team take on an under-19 side.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) contributes approximately $700,000 a year to aid Afghanistan's development and it is keen that Friday's match encourages other top teams to follow Pakistan's lead.

"In order for cricket to remain competitive within the international sporting marketplace, it is important that more countries are capable of performing well at the highest international level," Tim Anderson, the ICC's global development manager, told Reuters.

"For sides to reach that level they need to play more against higher standard opposition, so Pakistan playing Afghanistan is a terrific initiative that we are very excited about and something we would like to see more of in the future."

Afghanistan have played in the Pakistan domestic competition and against Pakistan A sides, while two of the country's past coaches Kabir Khan and Rashid Latif, are Pakistani.

Three Afghanistan players, wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad, spin bowler Mohammad Nabi and fast bowler Hamid Hassan, were chosen for an ICC side who faced England before their test series against Pakistan.

Hassan was injured and unable to complete the match after taking the first two wickets in the England first innings while Nabi took five wickets and Shazad scored 51 and 74, as well as taking five catches.

"I played against them in our domestic Twenty20 tournament for Faisalabad and they have some really good, talented players," Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq told Reuters.

"They are eager to play international cricket and for us it is good preparation going into a tough (one-day) series against England."

A sellout crowd is expected on Friday, with the match taking place on a day when almost all workers in the UAE are able to take as a holiday.

Kabul ,Monday 5 February

(BNA) Pakistan's bowlers sealed an emphatic 71-run win in the third and final Test against England here on Monday, wrapping up a humiliating 3-0 series whitewash in the process.

Set a daunting 324-run target, England were bowled out for 252 with paceman Umar Gul taking 4-61 and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal 4-67 to help Pakistan achieve a first-ever Test cleansweep against their opponents.
With the ball turning again it was always going to be a difficult task for England's batsmen, who have struggled to play the Pakistani spinners throughout the series, on a weary fourth day pitch at Dubai Stadium.

Pakistan won the first Test here by ten wickets and the second by 72 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan have also become the first team to win a Test after being bowled out for under 100 since 1907 when England, shot out for 76, beat South Africa at Leeds.

It was England's seventh series whitewash, their first at the hands of Pakistan. Pakistan have now recorded five series whitewashes, their last coming in a 3-0 win over Bangladesh in 2003.

England's last series whitewash came in 2007 when they were routed by Australia 5-0.

So dominating have been Pakistanis spinners that Ajmal finished the series with 24 and Rehman with 19.

An elated Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq praised his team.

"It's a wonderful team effort," said Misbah, who now has won nine of the 15 Tests as captain, with one loss and five draws. "It's a big win against a big team, achieved through hard work."

England captain Andrew Strauss said the lack of run-making had left him disappointed.

"It's a bit of surprise as well as disappointment because we did not put scores on the board, and we must give credit to Pakistan," said Strauss who has lost his first series since losing to the West Indies in 2009.

"We have important lessons to learn from this defeat."

England, 89-2 at lunch, were still in with a chance with Alastair Cook (49) and Kevin Pietersen (18) batting well but they lost four wickets in the space of 84 runs.

They went to tea at 173-6.

Pietersen, who struggled for runs in the series, hit Abdul Rehman for a boundary and then hoisted him for a six to post England's 100. But Ajmal struck from the other end.

The off-spinner produced a beautiful delivery to bowl Pietersen through the gate for 18. He had a mere 67 runs for the series during which he was out to spinners on five occasions.

In his next over, Ajmal produced another sharp turning delivery which caught the edge of Cook's bat and was smartly held by a diving Younis Khan in the lone slip.

Ian Bell (10) and Eoin Morgan (31) added 37 for the fifth wicket but again failed to produce a big score in the series as Gul dismissed them in the space of just three runs.

Pakistan took the second new ball at 196-6 and the first ball saw Gul dismissing Stuart Broad (18) and then Graeme Swann on one.

Matt Prior remained not out at 49 when Monty Panesar was dismissed by Rehman for nine.

England had looked for big partnerships after resuming at 36-0 but that never transpired.

Pakistan could have wrapped the match earlier had they not dropped two crucial catches, the first off Strauss on 26 when wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal grassed a simple chance off Gul.

But that didn't hurt Pakistan as Rehman trapped the England captain in the very next over. Strauss challenged the decision by Australian umpire Steve Davis but his review failed.

Gul then let off Cook at 24 when he failed to hold a top-edge sweep off Rehman.

Cook had also benefited from a dropped catch on Saturday when Taufiq Umar let him off in the third slip off a miscued drive off Gul when he was four.

Ajmal then broke a dangerous looking 37-run stand between Cook and Jonathan Trott (18) by forcing a top-edge sweep which was smartly snapped up by Rehman at square-leg.

The teams will now play four one-day and three Twenty20 internationals

 

Kabul, Friday 3 February

(BNA) India broke through for their first tour win with a convincing eight-wicket win over Australia in the second Twenty20 international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

Australia were dismissed for 131 with two balls left after winning the toss and India reached that target with 135 for two off 19.4 overs.

The Indians were always in control of the run chase, but tensions mounted in the final over as the Australians ringed the field around Gautam Gambhir before he pierced the circle for the winning runs with two balls to spare.

Gambhir remained unbeaten on 56 off 60 balls while skipper M.S. Dhoni, who promoted himself in the batting order to number four, was not out 21 off 18 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja was named man-of-the-match for his outstanding fielding effort of two run outs and a caught and bowled in Australia's innings.

India's win gives them some much-needed impetus in Sunday's opening match of the tri one-day series against Australia at the MCG also involving Sri Lanka in the tournament

Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Kabul (BNA)  Minister of information and culture and head of the Kabul city throughout council, Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen said in a ceremony held to laud the girls engaged in sport that the youths of the country could shine well and succeeded to bring eye-catching victories despites side deprivation and incomparability with the world youths. 
Calling the country’s youths the dignity of the country, Raheen said at the meeting held to praise the boy and girls engaged in sport that defiantly, if the life of the country’s youth was compared with those of other countries with high facilities, our youth had brought high achievements despite many deprivations and deficiencies. 
Meanwhile the great personality of the country, Mohammad Seddiq Afghan addressing the ceremony said he is proud of the country’s going ahead in different fields. 
The meeting was held to appreciate the country’s national football team that had got second position in the football tournament outside the country, the girl football team of girls of the Kabul throughout council who had also won second position among 17 districts of Kabul city and the basketball team with enjoying the first position among 17 districts of the capital. 
The sports persons received their appreciate letters by the Kabul people throughout council.