Debut WC win sparks countrywide celebrations
KABUL (Pajhwok): Thousands of cricket fans on Thursday thronged streets in various parts of the country to celebrate Afghanistan’s first victory in the World Cup in New Zealand against Scotland after a nail-biting finish.
Samiullah Shenwari batted Afghanistan to the historic one-wicket win over Scotland after he scored 96, the highest by an Afghan batsman in a World Cup match. ''We won with one wicket or 10 wickets, it’s still a win,'' Shenwari said later.
Thousands of fans took to the streets in the central capital Kabul in cars and on motorcycles carrying national flags and danced with the beats of the drums.
Such processions were carried out in the city’s 8th, 12th and 9th districts, where hundreds of youth embarked on their journey in vehicles, on motorcycles and foot toward the cricket board office and chanted slogans in support of the national team.
One of the youth, Samiullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “It’s the happiest moment in my life.”
Another fan, Syed Akbar, holding a national flag in his hand, said Afghans rarely witnessed such occasions.
Elsewhere in the city’s 5th district, hundreds of residents marched to the Mirwais Airfield, where they celebrated the victory dancing and chanting.
One of them, Idrees Ahmad, said: “My entire family sat in front of the TV at midnight to watch the game until it was morning when our team led us joy.”
In eastern Nangarhar province, hundreds of residents celebrated Afghanistan’s victory over Scotland, resorting to intense firing into the air in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, and adjacent areas. At least six people were injured as a result of the celebratory firing.
An emotional Jalalabad dweller Khaliq Riaz, who was among the hundreds others celebrating the victory in the Amir Shaheed gardens, told Pajhwok Afghan News “long live Afghanistan national team. I am so happy that we won the match.”
A group celebrated the victory in Jalalabad’s Pukhtonistan area. One of them, Asadullah Tarin, said: “We have gathered here to celebrate the victory by performing attan (national dance) and beating the drums.”
He said the credit for the victory went to Samiullah Shinwari, who skillfully scored 96 runs to take the side to a sensational win. Besides, Jalalabad, the victory was celebrated in remote parts of Nangarhar.
Hundreds of people emerged in Kanahar City, the capital of southern Kandahar province, to celebrate the victory against Scotland waving national flags and chanting slogans in support of the national team.
Similar crowds took to the streets in southeastern Paktia, Khost, southern Ghazni, Zabul and a number towns and cities to celebrate the Afghan team’s historic win.
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