Asia Cup: We showed we can chase totals, says Afghanistan captain Nabi

The twin victories ensured Afghanistan became the first team to qualify for the Super Four



Najibullah Zadran (left) of Afghanistan celebrates the win over Bangladesh. (Asian Cricket Council)
Najibullah Zadran (left) of Afghanistan celebrates the win over Bangladesh. (Asian Cricket Council)
by

James Jose

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 9:41 PM

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi is delighted that his team has finally managed to shed the tag of unpredictability and hopes that they can continue in the same vein.

Afghanistan, one of the most exciting teams in world cricket, have been known to be unpredictable, especially when chasing targets.

But in the ongoing DP World Asia Cup, Mohammad Nabi’s side chased on both the occasions and they came out trumps against both Sri Lanka in the tournament opener in Dubai and their second Group B game against Bangladesh in Sharjah.

They defeated Sri Lanka comprehensively by eight wickets and with 59 balls to spare and then notched a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh, with nine balls remaining.

The twin victories ensured Afghanistan became the first team to qualify for the Super Four.

"As a team, in this Asia Cup, we are showing that Afghanistan have quality batsmen, quality bowlers and quality fielders," Nabi said.

"In these two games we showed we can chase totals. Earlier, the opposition used to say that Afghanistan cannot chase. But we were quite good (in the two chases), were not under pressure and had proper balance. And hopefully, we do well in the next round against big teams," he added.

Afghanistan are expected to take on India and Pakistan in the Super Four but Nabi said that they are not focussing on any specific opposition but just looking to play good cricket.

"We are not targeting anyone, we are just playing proper cricket," said the 37-year-old.

Familiarity of the conditions

Afghanistan have regularly played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah with Sharjah acting as their home ground a decade or so ago. And Nabi said familiarity of the conditions has helped them in their campaign so far.

"From the last 15 years, most of the times we have played in Dubai and Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, we know the conditions better," Nabi said.

"Sometimes, in Sharjah, a low total is tough to chase, that's why in a low chase, the batsmen didn't throw away early wickets and at the end we targeted the bowlers and won the game,” he added.

Afghanistan are currently coached by former England batsman Jonathan Trott with former Pakistan pacer Umar Gul joining the set-up as bowling coach.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh batsman Mosaddek Hossain, said that Afghanistan has one of the best spin attacks in the world.

"Afghanistan has one of the best spin attacks in the world. When you take that into account, we don't have a big spinner. We don't have a wrist spinner. We are all orthodox spinners. We didn't lose this game for not picking enough spinners. It was difficult to hit the ball off a hard length. It wasn't wrong to play with three seamers. I think it was good enough for us to push them as we defended a total like 127," Hossain said.


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