We have psychological edge over Namibia: ACB
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan on Wednesday said it had evolved a comprehensive plan to win the first final of the ICC World T20 Qualifier against Namibia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday. Both finalists remained unbeaten and emerged group leaders.
As the two outfits booked berths in the first final on Tuesday, topping their respective groups, the International Cricket Board (ICC) announced later in the day that the mega match would be played on Thursday afternoon.
The 1st Qualifying Final winners will make their way to the tournament proper to be played in Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7. The champions will join Australia and the West Indies in Group B while the losing team will complete Group A that includes defending champions England and 2007 winners India.
“Afghanistan see Namibia as firm favourite in Thursday’s match, therefore, we have a special plan in mind for the important contest,” ABC Chief Executive Nasimllah Danish told Pajhwok from the UAE over the telephone. Afghan players went through a tough exercise, with coach Kabir Khan revealing some weakness of Namibia and indentifying their previous mistakes.
ACB Development Manager Bashir Stanikzai acknowledged Namibia had some brilliant players, who had been able to thrash more experienced sides in the tournament. He believed Afghanistan’s win over Namibia in a recent friendly might lend them a psychological edge.
The ACB official said Afghan bowlers were good, compared to their rivals. Afghanistan could win if they bat first and score well. “Afghanistan’s captain, players, coaches and other officials have prepared a strong plan for the match,” he added.
Kabir Khan said Thursday’s match was not only important for Afghanistan, but represented a history-making event. Although the side had experienced batting and bowling problems, his joining helped them overcome the challenges to a great extent.
“Since the start of the tournament, we have never underestimated any team. We considered them stronger than us and have the same view of Namibia,” Khan remarked.
Captain Nawroz Mangal said they had treated every match as the final, an approach that helped them stay unbeaten. “We are going into Thursday’s battle with our spirit high and hope to come up to the nation’s expectations.”
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