I expected more, says Afghanistan captain as World Cup dream slips away

Afghanistan should have seen off Australia before Glenn Maxwell staged his one-man Mumbai rescue mission on Tuesday

By AFP

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Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi (left) throws the ball during a practice session. — AFP
Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi (left) throws the ball during a practice session. — AFP

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2023, 8:19 PM

Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said on Thursday that he had "wanted and expected more" at the World Cup as dreams of a semifinal place slipped away.

Having defeated reigning champions England, as well as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Afghanistan should also have seen off Australia before Glenn Maxwell staged his one-man Mumbai rescue mission on Tuesday.

"As a team we feel proud, we are happy with what we did in this World Cup," said Shahidi.

"But as a captain, I wanted and I expected more. We should have done better."

Afghanistan have enjoyed their best World Cup.

At their 2015 debut, they won just one game against Scotland before losing all nine matches at the 2019 tournament.

They conclude their group campaign on Friday against South Africa who have already made sure of a semifinal spot along with India and Australia.

New Zealand are likely to pip Afghanistan and Pakistan to the last semifinal place following their thumping five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Despite winning widespread praise for their swashbuckling style of cricket, Afghanistan ended up as authors of their own downfall in the field.

They dropped five catches in losing to New Zealand while Mujeeb Ur Rahman will forever be haunted by spilling a simple chance on Tuesday when Maxwell had made just 33.

Maxwell went on to play one of the greatest innings of all time with an undefeated 201 saving Australia who had been on the ropes at 91-7 chasing 292 to win.

"Yeah, that loss was very disappointing for us as a team," added Shahidi.

"They were seven down and Maxwell played the innings of his life. We were not expecting that. But it's part of the game, part of life."

Shahidi admitted that their mistakes in the field were fatal.

"In the New Zealand game those dropped catches hurt us and especially with Australia, the dropped chance that we had. That was the reason, if we took that, the result and scenario would be far different than now."

Shahidi admitted he was looking forward to facing South Africa.

The two sides have only met once before when the Proteas raced to a nine-wicket win in Cardiff at the 2019 World Cup.

Afghanistan were bowled out for just 125 that day.

"We know they are a good side and they play quality cricket," said Shahidi.

"We will play to our own strengths and our own quality of cricket.

"Tomorrow our focus will be the same -- that if we do well, we can beat any team."


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