Afghanistan’s newly appointed skipper –Rashid Khan, who has become the youngest captain in international cricket, lamented having the worst of conditions after his teams seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Scotland in their first fixture of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier at Bulawayo.
One of the pre-tournament favorites to qualify –Afghanistan posted 255 on the board, but, in reply, Scotlands' Calum MacLeod played a magnificent knock of 157 not out, featuring 23 fours and a six, helped his team to win the game with 16 deliveries remaining. MacLeod smartly countered the 19-year leg spinner's spell and as he went for 68 from his 9 overs.
As per AFP, Rashid told reporters, “The wicket was difficult to bat on, it wasn’t coming good onto the bat. Later on when the sun came out, it was totally different and it was quite easy to bat on. The toss is really important in these games, but that’s not in our hands, there’s nothing we can do about that.”
Currently, the teams are fighting it out for only two places for the 2019 World Cup with the top 8 teams already sealing their spot for the World Cup 2019 mega event in England.
Meanwhile, Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer lauded Calum and his boys after thrashing Afghanistan, “The standout (performance) for us today is MacLeod. It was an unbelievable effort from him. It’s a great start to the tournament but we will take every day as it comes.”
Now, Afghanistan will have to bounce back strongly against Zimbabwe on Tuesday as only the top three teams from each group will advance to the Super Six of the knockouts in a bid to keep their hopes alive.
Rashid signed off by saying, “We needed some wickets in the middle and we didn’t do that. They played really well, had a good partnership and that took the game away from us.”