Afghans celebrate first Cricket World Cup win
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
The nature of Afghanistan's first win in the World Cup is destined to ensure they grow in cricket folklore, notable for being way more than a mere milestone.
While the Afghan players rushed to hug and celebrate with teammates and fans after last-in-line batsman Shapoor Zadran stroked the winning runs in the last-over, one-wicket victory - the closest margin in terms of wickets at the World Cup since 2007 - dejected Scotland players slowly left the field yesterday after being deprived of their first win in the marquee event.
Samuillah Shenwari scored 96 runs to bat Afghanistan close to victory as they chased Scotland's 210 in Dunedin, New Zealand. But Shenwari was out with 19 runs still needed, 19 balls remaining and one wicket standing.
last pair deliver
The last-wicket pair of Hamid Hassan (15 not out) and Shapoor (12 not out) held their nerve to complete the historic win.
Shenwari, who has played on the team for six years, says young Afghans will now see cricket as a way to rise above the trials of daily life in the war-affected country. Some players on the Afghanistan team learned to play cricket in Pakistan refugee camps during exile from their homeland.
In the second match yesterday, unbeaten centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka to 332-1, setting up a 92-run win over Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Dilshan made the most of an early fielding error to post 161, his third World Cup century, while Sangakkara marked his 400th one-day international by scoring 105 off 76 balls in a 210-run partnership after Sri Lanka won the toss. Lasith Malinga (3-35) used his express pace to bowl Tamim Iqbal for a duck with just the second ball of the chase and Sri Lanka never appeared to be in danger as Bangladesh capitulated for 240.