Afghans eagerly gear up to watch their team face off against Scotland in T20 World Cup match
Amid all their concerns and economic woes, Afghans have something to look forward to on Monday night when their national team take on Scotland in the ICC World Cup T20 tournament in the UAE.
The national cricket team is scheduled to face Scotland in their first official match at about 6.30pm Kabul time.
For Afghans in the country, the match can be viewed live on Ariana TV, which has the rights to broadcast the tournament. For online viewers click here to watch the match.
Cricket fans across the country have high hopes that their team will do well – especially as Afghanistan is ranked number eight in T20 cricket – and many said Monday that a win would bring some much needed joy to the nation amid trying times.
“In these difficult and anxious days, our only joy is this sport and we support the Afghan national cricket team and we hope that our players can achieve a good result for Afghanistan in these competitions,” said Zabiullah Zadran, a resident of Paktia.
“It is sports and athletes who bring happiness to the people, and we are very happy that our national cricket team qualified for the World Cup.” said Khaibar Sharifi, a resident of Kabul.
“I urge all cricket fans to pray for the victory of the Afghan national cricket team in the World Cup. It is a great honor for Afghanistan and a very happy time, we are a very upset people,” said Hayatullah Durani, another Kabul resident.
Meanwhile, national cricket team players say they will put every effort into the match in order to secure a win for their countrymen.
Mohammad Nabi, captain of the Afghan team, says currently, cricket is collectively the only source of happiness for Afghans. Nabi added that the team is in good spirits and that Afghans back home are hoping for a win.
“Afghans all talk a lot about the team squad on social media, and Inshallah (God willing), the players will try to shine well, also the team’s morale is very good,” Nabi added.
“In this round of the World Cup, we promise our compatriots to play [well and] display best performances,” said Najibullah Zadran, a national cricket team player.
Afghanistan, which was an automatic qualifier, is in the second group with Scotland, Pakistan, Namibia, India and New Zealand.
Ariana Television Network has broadcasting rights of the T20 Cricket World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
This is the Afghan team’s third appearance at the T20 World Cup but won only two matches at the 2016 event. This year, the team is looking to win more matches and progress further in the competition.
Already last week, Afghanistan beat reigning World Cup holders West Indies in a warm up match.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE MATCH LIVE AT 6.30PM KABUL TIME
Ibrahim Zadran’s 98 powers Afghanistan to win over Sri Lanka in first ODI
Afghanistan started their three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka impressively as they defeated the hosts by 6 wickets in Hambantota on Friday.
Sent to bat first by Afghans who one the toss, Sri Lanka posted 268-10 as they played all the 50 overs at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.
Fazalhaq Farooqi made an immediate impact, getting the big wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne in the 3rd over. He sent back Kusal Mendis in the ninth over to give second blow to the hosts.
Senior batter Angelo Matthews also fell early (12 off 21) before Mujeeb Ur Rahman dented Sri Lanka further by getting Nissanka in the 20th over for 38.
Sri Lanka were reeling at 84 for 4 when Charith Asalanka and Dhanajaya de Silva joined hands. The two added 99-runs for the 5th wicket with Dhananjaya dominating the partnership with a 59-ball 51. However, he fell in the 38th over, missing a straight delivery from Mohammad Nabi.
Sri Lanka did not get any big partnership after the dismissal of Dhananjaya as captain Dasun Shanka fell for 17, getting out to Noor Ahmad.
However, Asalanka carried on and made 91 before getting run-out in the final over and missing a century.
Sri Lanka got bundled out for 268 in their allotted 50 overs. Fazalhaq Farooqi (2/58, 9 overs) and Fareed Ahmed (2/43, 8 overs) were the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan.
In reply, Afghanistan lost their opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz early in the innings. However, Ibrahim Zadran (98 off 98) and Rahmat Shah (55 off 80) put on a massive 146-run stand for the second wicket off 148 balls to take their side to the driving seat. The partnership was ended with Zadran’s dismissal who fell short of his hundred getting out for 98 against Kasun Rajitha.
Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 38 off 47 balls and Mohmmad Nabi made 27 28 as Afghanistan chased down the target of 269 in 46.5 overs.
The sides will meet for their second ODI on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings pip Gujarat Titans in dramatic final to win fifth IPL title
Chennai Super Kings equalled Mumbai Indians’ record of five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side triumphed in a last-ball thriller, beating champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets in Monday’s rain-marred final in Ahmedabad.
Put into bat, Gujarat racked up 214-4 after their number three batter Sai Sudharsan capitalised on a strong start and smashed an incendiary 96 off 47 balls that included six sixes.
Chasing a revised target of 171 from 15 overs after a lengthy rain interruption, Chennai survived intense drama before Ravindra Jadeja sealed their victory, milking 10 runs off the last two deliveries.
The final was originally scheduled on Sunday but incessant rain forced the organisers to move the game to its reserve day.
After Chennai skipper Dhoni won the toss and elected to field, Shubman Gill walked out to bat having smashed three hundreds in his last four innings, read the report.
The opener seemed to have luck on his side too as Deepak Chahar dropped Gill, the tournament’s leading scorer, at square leg when the batter was on three.
Gill also survived a run-out chance when Jadeja could not properly gather the ball before breaking the stumps.
The left-arm spinner, however, made amends in the same over.
Jadeja lured Gill (39) out of the crease and Dhoni proved age has not dulled his reflexes as the 41-year-old whipped off the bails in a flash.
Chahar also floored a return catch from Wriddhiman Saha, who smashed 54 before falling to the seamer with Dhoni collecting the top edge, Reuters reported.
Sudharsan then tore into the Chennai attack and hit Matheesha Pathirana for back-to-back sixes in the final over of the innings to inch closer to a hundred.
Pathirana denied him the milestone but Gujarat could not be denied a 200-plus total.
Chennai’s openers faced three balls before rain forced them off the field and held up play for two hours and 20 minutes.
Chasing a revised target on return, Ruturaj Gaikwad (26) and Devon Conway (47) plundered 72 runs from the first six overs before Noor Ahmad removed both in the seventh over.
Shivam Dube, who made 32 not out, kept Chennai in the race but Mohit Sharma removed Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni in successive deliveries to inject fresh drama into the contest.
Chennai needed 13 runs from the last over from Mohit, who conceded three runs in his first four deliveries.
Needing 10 off the last two, Jadeja hit Mohit over his head for a six and followed it with a boundary to seal a thrilling victory.
“I was just trying to swing hard because every ball was important,” Jadeja said of the dramatic last over.
“I knew anything could happen, so I was trying to swing hard and hit it straight.”
IPL: Chennai v Gujarat final, a ‘replay’ of opening match
After nearly two months of intense action, cricket fans around the world will get to see a “rematch” of the opening game of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) when Gujarat Titans take on Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.
The title match of this year’s Indian Premier League is a repeat of the opening game – a coincidence that did not surprise many.
Gujarat are the defending champions and hammered Mumbai Indians by 62 runs on Friday through Shubman Gill’s stunning 126 off 60 balls – which powered Gujarat to 233-3.
Gill hit 10 sixes in his knock and put on a second-wicket stand of 138 with Sai Sudharsan, who made 43, to tear into the opposition attack at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.
He became the leading batsman this season with 851 runs, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis (730), before he reached his IPL best and the top score of this season.
Chennai however are near permanent residents of the play-offs and will be fighting for the trophy for the 10th time.
If Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat manage to defend their title, the franchise will establish itself as the undisputed pioneers of the tournament in just their second season.
Chennai however has a lot riding on the game and victory will not only give them their fifth crown but also provide veteran captain MS Dhoni with what many expect will be a perfect send-off. Dhoni, 41, is expected to retire after having played this year’s IPL with a serious knee injury.
IPL 2023 prize money
Over the years, the prize money for the IPL, the richest T20 league in the world, has grown substantially and the winning team this year will receive a cheque of $2.4 million.
The runners up will get $1.5 million, third place will take $840,000 and fourth place will get $780,000.
Friday meanwhile saw the back of Mumbai Indians, who went down to Gujurat in the final playoff.
Mumbai’s coach Mark Boucher put his team’s loss down to injuries to fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer which he said left a hole in the team.
Boucher, in his first season with Mumbai, said the replacement players offered their best efforts but were still not good enough for a place in the final.
“If you are losing out on your quality players, yes it’s going to leave a hole,” Boucher told reporters after his team’s 62-run hammering.
“Not to put any blame on anyone, those things happen in sports, injuries happen in sports and you’ve got to deal with it.”
Boucher, regarded as one of the world’s best wicket keepers during his playing days, said Mumbai may have to replace some of the team down the line.
“Hopefully the guys can get over the injuries. If they can’t, then we’ve got to look for other places,” said Boucher.
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