Afghanistan beat PNG after stunning comeback
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan defeated PNG by a huge margin of 201 runs after a stunning comeback in their four-day first-class fixture played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as part of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
It was the first meeting between Afghanistan and PNG in first-class cricket that began three days ago and ended on Tuesday with Afghanistan winning the game.
Afghanistan Cricket Board spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News the Afghans won the toss and elected to bat.
They made a paltry total of 142 runs in their first innings, with Mohammad Shehzad contributing 29 runs, Asghar Stanikzai 26 and Sharfuddin Sharf 25 runs.
In response, PNG piled up 290 runs in their first innings, leaving Afghanistan to struggle with a 151-run first innings deficit. For Afghanistan, Yamin Ahmadzai clinched three wickets and Nawaz Khan two.
But Afghanistan played well in their second innings as Asghar Stanikzai (127), Mohammad Shahzad (116) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (112) all struck centuries.
Afghanistan piled on 501 in their second innings along with handy lower-order fifties from Gulbadin Naib and Mirwais Ashraf to set PNG a target of 390 runs.
Afghanistan had previously made 494 runs in their first innings against Canada in 2010.
Excluding their first innings 151-run lead, PNG had to chase 387 runs target, but they could not chase it and all their batsmen collapsed at a total of 188 runs, with Afghanistan winning the four-day game by 201 runs.
For Afghanistan, Zahir Khan and Yamin Ahmadzai both picked up four wickets to break the back of the PNG chase.
The victory earned Afghanistan 14 points, increasing their total points to 21 and the PNG received six points. Afghanistan now sit in third position from the previous sixth position in the ICC Intercontinental Cup table.
Afghanistan played their previous four-day match against Scotland and the game ended in a draw due to rains. The Scots were given 14 points and Afghanistan seven points.
The Intercontinental Cup features Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Nimibia, PNG, Hong Kong and the UAE.
Ireland have won two first class cricket fixes and lead the table with 40 points. Holland are in second position and Afghanistan third.
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