Having seen Afghanistan clinch another dominating victory in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen thinks that the rising force of International cricket could well go all the way in the tournament in United Arab Emirates.
While India and Pakistan continue to be favourites for the event, Afghanistan won the group B on Wednesday, September 21 by following their thumping win over Sri Lanka with a fantastic all-round performance over Bangladesh and this, Kevin reiterated, makes them a contender for certain.
It was wrist-spinner Rashid Khan who led the way on the day, as he turned the game with his brilliance in either skill. Coming into bat at 160-7 in the first innings at Abu Dhabi, Rashid played an oustanding counter-attacking knock of 57 not out from just 32 balls, and along with Gulbadin Naib, who made 42 from 38, took Afghanistan to a very competitive score of 255 in the allotted 50 overs.
Even with the ball, Rashid simply befuddled the Bangladeshi middle-order and finished off a 119-run victory for his team after clinching fantastic match figures of 9-3-13-2.
After his man of the match award earning performance, Rashid said, "It was a special day for me and I am really happy as I contributed in batting, bowling and fielding, We have worked hard for this and we want to continue this form. I wanted to bat till the end and focus on each and every ball. I had good preparation in the practice session."
"We have been working hard on our fielding as it can win matches for you. It is all about luck in batting and bowling but fielding is one thing that is totally in our hands and we wanted to get better," he added.
Even Captain Asghar Afghan was in full praise of his team and said, "If we put 230+ runs on the board it will be difficult for the opposition team as we have good fielding and extremely good bowling. It was a very important game for us." he added, "We gave two top-order wickets very easily and even our middle-order was poor. We weren't finishing well in the last few matches but Rashid and Naib in the last 7-8 overs finished very well today."
Pietersen took to the social media network Twitter and wrote, "Something tells me that Afghanistan could well make finals and possibly cause a major upset....!" and added, "Just got that feeling...Conditions! Make up of their team! Star players!"
Something tells me that Afghanistan could well make finals and possibly cause a major upset....!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) September 21, 2018
Just got that feeling...
Make up of their team!
(Quotes from Cricket Next)