The Afghanistan team have become the unlikely flag-bearers for the minnow nations at the World T20
COLOMBO: Afghanistan’s cricketers have become the unlikely flag-bearers for the minnow nations at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka with an eye-catching, fearless display in their opening game against India.
The part-timers from the war-ravaged nation, many of whom took up cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan, gave India’s multi-millionaires a scare in their opening match in Colombo on Wednesday before lack of experience cost them.
At the Premadasa stadium, they let India off the hook with four dropped catches and 14 wides but still restricted one of the most formidable batting line-ups in world cricket to a manageable 159-5.
In reply, Afghanistan raced to an impressive 75-2 in the 12th over before a late collapse saw the non-Test side bowled out for 136 with three balls to spare, losing by 23 runs.
With Ireland and Zimbabwe crashing to big defeats in their opening matches in the 12-team tournament, Afghanistan’s gritty display was a strong statement of intent from the lower-ranked teams.