Shahzad, Stanikzai power Afghanistan to 14-run win
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News the national side won the toss and elected to bat first in the important encounter at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
Shahzad smashed 61off 39 deliveries while Stanikzai hit an unbeaten 55 to help Afghanistan post a formidable total of 170 for the loss of five wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Shahzad gave the opposition a good leather hunt.
Stanikzai remained unbeaten on a steady 55 off 50 balls, hitting two boundaries and a six, Together with Shahzad, he forged a 82-run second wicket partnership --the highlight of Afghanistan’s innings. Opener Noor Ali Zardan chipped in with 17 and Gulbadin Naib with 12.
Scotland took a flying start in their chase as openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer put on a courageous 84 runs in less than nine overs, giving the rivals a real scare. But Samiullah Shenwari dislodged Coetzer for 40.
In thebreezy 27-ball knock, he thrashed four boundaries and a six. Just three runs later, Munsey departed after making 41 off 29 balls with the help of nine fours, the ACB spokesman said.
The dismissal of the openers decelerated Scotland's momentum, as Afghanistan held their nerve after conceding 94 runs in the first 10 overs. The loss of Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington dashed Scotland’s hopes for their first-ever global triumph.
Matt Machan contributed 36 off 31 balls, but the asking rate kept soaring. Afghanistan's young leg-spinner Rashid Khan finished with 2/28, as his squad notched up a 14 runs win.
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