Afghanistan beat Scotland in Sharjah

16 Nov

Afghanistan on the attackAfghanistan 171/6 (20 overs) Shezhad 42, Nabi 46, Goudie 3-0-29-2, beat Scotland 154/6 (20 overs) MacLeod 56, Machan 54, by 17 runs [Scorecard]

Afghanistan defeated Scotland in a thrilling encounter at Sharjah stadium on Saturday, in the second match of the 2013 T20 World Cup Qualifiers by 17 runs, despite spirited efforts from Matt Machan and Calum MacLeod.

Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat first in the hot afternoon sun.

Openers Mohammad Shazhad and Nawroz Mangal came to the middle and swung from the hip, putting on 55 runs from only 26 deliveries before Mangal gave Coetzer a catch at mid-off, departing for 20.

Shezhad continued his assault and made 42 runs from 22 balls until he was caught by Rob Taylor in the covers, to give Iain Wardlaw his first wicket of the afternoon, with the score reading 68/2 in the sixth over.

Majid Haq bowled Noor Ali for 9 as Scotland tried to get a foothold in the game. Mohammed Nabi looked to play a captain’s innings, striking 46 from 29, including some hefty sixes.

Eventually Nabi was well caught on the boundary by Machan from the bowling of Goudie at deep-square leg in the 16th over, as Afghanistan found themselves in a good position and with the score on 142/4.

Machan and MacLeod in the middleHowever, a spirited effort by the bowlers and fielders ensured they would only reach 171/6 from their 20 overs.

Wardlaw claimed three wickets while Goudie collected two as Scotland didn’t concede a boundary in their final two overs.

Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod started off in a positive fashion putting on 34 in 4.2 overs. Berrington departed for 19, but MacLeod remained and, paired with Matt Machan, the two continued to bat sensibly.

The pair managed the required run rate admirably and each time it looked to be slipping out of reach the batsmen would take the required risks and were rewarded with boundaries.

MacLeod reached his half century and was closely followed by Machan. With 110 on the board, MacLeod edged Dalwat Zadran behind for 56, and Afghanistan were back in the game.

Machan struck a huge six over mid-wicket and, at that point, Scotland required 36 from 18 balls. However, Coetzer was caught at third man with an outside edge by Dalwat Zadran on the boundary.

Taylor continued to keep Scotland in the hunt as they required 26 runs from 10 deliveries.

Unfortunately for the Scots the boundaries didn’t come due to some good bowling and, when Machan was trapped LBW for 54 and Taylor run out for 6, the game was up.

Players leave the fieldScotland eventually finished their innings 17 runs short of the total, much to the delight of the Afghanistan crowd.

After the game captain Kyle Coetzer said, “It’s been a tough day with some outstanding cricket being played by both sides. MacLeod, Machan and Haq all had great games and I’m just sorry that they have to be on the losing side today.

We’re doing some great things and when we get that first win the momentum will come our way.

The wicket was a completely different type that we encountered yesterday, and it was as tough a T20 match as we will come across, but I thought we showed some real character today and I’m proud of my players.”

Scotland now continue their campaign on Monday against Nepal where they will be looking register their first win in the competition. 

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