RAZZAK BOWLS WELL

Abdur Razzak’s superb bowling performance has helped Khulna Division in achieving its third consecutive victory in the National Cricket League. The classical left arm spinner took a total of 13 wickets in the match against Chittagong division and made it very difficult for the opposing team to save the match. Razzak took 9 wickets in the first innings and 4 wickets in the second innings.

Chittagong division needed 453 runs in the fourth innings to win the match, but, they got all out only on 153 and lost the match by 299 runs. Only four of the Chittagong batsmen managed to get past the score of 10. Aftab Ahmed was the top scorer for them with a fine half century. Ahmed scored 52 runs. The skipper of Chittagong, Nafees Iqbal, also played well during his brief stay at the crease and scored 45 runs. But, the efforts of these two batsmen proved to be too little to save the match.

Apart from Razzak, the off spinner Nizamuddin also bowled well in the second innings. He gave the ball air and got a lot of response from the pitch. He also bowled good top spin deliveries and dismissed five Chittagong batsmen.

Earlier in the match, the Khulna team put up a score of 343 runs in its second innings. Khulna had a lead of 109 runs in the first innings. So, Chittagong got a huge total of 453 to chase. It was a tough task for them and they made it even tougher by playing irresponsible shots. There was no application shown by the Chittagong batsmen. Most of them looked in a hurry and tried to hit the lofted shots against the spin which is not a sensible thing to do on a turning track.

Abdur Razzak was named man of the match for his great bowling performance.

ENGLAND WIN

The Afghanistan Cricket team has been defeated by England in its second group stage match in the World T20 Championship at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Friday.

The England team won the match by a huge margin of 116 runs. With this defeat, the Afghan team has been knocked out of the tournament. It was a very poor performance by the Afghan team. Their bowlers were wayward, while, the batsmen looked helpless in front of the short pitched deliveries.

The Afghan players had performed decently in their previous match against India. But, they didn’t manage to show the same kind of intensity on the field on Friday. The bowlers started well and Shapoor Zadran knocked over Kieswetter in the very first over of the match.

Luke Wright walked onto the park to bat at no. 3 and he looked in great nick right from the first delivery that he faced. He was a bit cautious at the start of his inning, but, once he got his eyes in, he played some gorgeous shots. The Afghan bowlers made his work easy by bowling length deliveries to him. He just pounced on those length deliveries and deposited them out of the park.

He didn’t manage to score a hundred though. He needed three runs on the last ball of the innings to complete his hundred, but, he managed to get only two and remained not out on 99. Wright’s inning took England to a huge score of 196. Chasing a target of 197 runs was never going to be easy for the inexperienced Afghan team, but, the Afghan batsmen were expected to fight a bit. But, that didn’t happen.

The English bowlers attacked Afghanistan with short rising deliveries and not even a single Afghan batsman looked comfortable against those deliveries. At one point of time, the Afghan team was 8 down on just 26 runs. But, Gulbodin Naib restored some pride for his team by hitting some powerful strokes towards the end. Naib was dismissed by Dernbach in the 18th over and Afghanistan got all out on just 80 runs. Luke Wright was declared man of the match for his brilliant knock.
England will take on India in its second group stage match on Sunday at the same venue.

AUSSIES BEAT AFGHANISTAN

The Australian cricket team has defeated Afghanistan by 66 runs in the only ODI at Sharjah. The Afghan cricketers fought hard in the match, but, they didn’t have enough firepower to upset the Kangaroos. Due to the extremely hot conditions at Sharjah, the organizers decided to start the match at 6 pm in the evening. The Aussie captain, Michael Clarke, won the toss and decided to bat first.

In the absence of Shane Watson, Matthew Wade came to open the innings with David Warner. The Australian opening pair was off to a flyer. Warner struck some superb shots on the off side. It seemed that Australia was on course, but, all of a sudden, Warner played a rash shot and threw his wicket away. It was a short delivery from Shapoor Zadran and Warner tried to cut it through point, but, he was beaten by the bounce. The ball took the outside edge of the bat and the wicketkeeper took an easy catch.

Michael Clarke walked on to the ground to bat at no. 3. The Australian captain looked in fine form right from the first second. He played a delightful straight drive off Zadran and then drove Gulbodin Naib through extra cover. Both Wade and Clarke rotated the strike pretty well. These two added 131 runs for the second wicket. In the 35th over, Afghanistan got the second breakthrough. It was a flighted delivery from Mohammad Nabi. Wade tried to flick it towards the leg side, but, he was beaten in the flight.

The ball took the leading edge of the bat and went straight into the hands of the bowler who took a low catch. The debutant, Glenn Maxwell, was sent to bat up the order to hit some lusty blows. But, the youngster got out early. He tried to hit Nabi out of the park, but, he didn’t manage to get enough elevation and end up hitting the ball straight down the throat of long on.

Michael Hussey hit some huge sixes towards the end of the innings and added 53 runs off just 30 balls for the sixth wicket with George Bailey to take Australia to a decent total of 272. Chasing a target of 273 runs was not easy for the Afghanistan team against the Australian bowling line up.

The Afghanistan team lost the first wicket in the second over when Mitchell Starc knocked over Javed Ahmadi. It was a quick delivery and swung back after pitching in line of the middle stump. Ahmadi was cramped for room and he only managed to get an inside edge back on to the stumps. Asghar Stanikzai played well for Afghanistan and scored a half century.

Mohammad Nabi also played some aggressive shots and he took the spinners apart. He hit Doherty and Maxwell for two sixes each. He was looking dangerous, but, Johnson knocked him over with a full pitched delivery. After that, there was not much resistance shown by the Afghanistan players. The young left arm fast bowler, Mitchell Starc, took 4 wickets for Australia and was declared man of the match.

ODI EXCITEMENT

The chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Hamid Shinwari, has said that the Afghan players are desperately waiting for the upcoming One day international match against Australia. The Afghanistan team will play an ODI match against Australia on 25th August in UAE. This will be the second ODI match of Afghanistan against a test playing nation this year. Earlier this year, Afghanistan had played an ODI against Pakistan.

As per Shinwari, Australian cricketers are very popular in Afghanistan and the Afghan cricket fans respect Australian players a lot. Shinwari said that he is extremely grateful to Cricket Australia for accepting the proposal of playing an ODI match in UAE. Playing against Australia would be a wonderful experience for the Afghan players and the players would learn quite a lot from that match.

Generally, the Afghanistan team doesn’t get many opportunities to play against the test playing nations, but, in the next few months, the team has to play against some big teams. After playing the ODI match against Australia, the team will go to Sri Lanka to participate in the world T20 Championship. Afghanistan is in Group A along with the defending champion England and the champion of the inaugural world T20 championship, India. Both India and England are very good T20 teams and it would not be easy for the Afghanistan team to qualify to the super 8 round.

The Afghanistan team has got some talented players and the team has the capability to upset the big teams. Afghanistan has got a very good captain in the form of Nawroz Mangal. Also, Afghanistan has some hard hitting batsmen in its squad who can hit big sixes, but, the Afghanistani batsmen are not that good against the spinners. So, they should work hard in this department if they have to perform well in Sri Lanka.

Aussies Set for Afghanistan Match

The no.1 ODI team in the world, Australia, is going to play a one day international match against Afghanistan cricket team in August. It is going to be the first encounter between these two teams. The match is likely to take place in UAE and that too before the Australia Vs Pakistan series. However, the full details of the match have not been confirmed by Cricket Australia.

The Chief Executive of Australia James Sutherland said that Afghanistan has been struggling with its national problems for quite sometime now. Despite that it has impressed everyone with its consistent growth in cricket. He said that as a member of International Cricket Council (ICC), Cricket Australia (CA) is always in support of the motive of developing cricket as an international sport. And this will happen only if we give the minnows regular chances to play with world’s top ten teams.

Afghanistan Cricket Team has shown gradual improvement over the years. The team has qualified for the World T20 Championship which is going to be held in September 2012 in Sri Lanka. The team had also qualified for the World T20 championship 2010 which was held in West Indies. But, they got a very tough group there. Both their matches were against World’s two top teams i.e. India & England. Unfortunately, they lost both the games.

Afghanistan Cricket Team has not got enough chances to play against the test playing nations. The only ODI that Afghanistan has played against a Test playing nation was against Pakistan in February, this year. They had been comprehensively beaten by Pakistan in that match. Playing against Australia would be an uphill task for the Afghans but, they surely would get a lot of things to learn from that match. The more they will play against the world’s top teams, the more they will improve.

Goodbye Gilchrist

Following Shane Warne, another cricketer from Australia, Adam Gilchrist declared his retirement from IPL. Shane Warne announced his retirement last year in the IPL and Gilchrist did the same a year later.

Another noticeable fact here is that the career graph of these two players in the field of IPL is also much closer.

In their tenure of captaincy their respective teams faced a brilliant exposure and stature. They fetched the titles for their teams and made it the top ranking one.
Shane Warne led his team to fetch the title of the winner of the first ever IPL in the years 2008 and soon after this in the year 2009, when the IPL was organized in South Africa the team Deccan became the winner of the title when Gilchrist was the leader of the team.

The extra ordinary wicket keeper cum batsman, Adam Gilchrist announced that the last matched played by him probably would be the ending match played by him. The cricketer at the age of 40 is not willing to play because according to some close sources, he is in the spree of becoming a family man now onwards. But the Australian Cricket as well as the World Cricket would definitely miss such a talented wicket keeper.

However Adam Gilchrist changed his club in the year 2011. He joined the Kings XI Punjab and took its responsibility. He was despaired by the performance as he could not take the team to that position. The team though made a better performance than ever before. Team Punjab could not make its way as Delhi Daredevils obstructed finely.

This defeat did not make the farewell go in a mess, it was in an obvious way and Adam Gilchrist said that he would like to serve the club as a coach if the owners allow doing so. But the whole team cross their finger so that Gilchrist changes his mind and serve the team as he is doing now.

Even after the retirement, Gilchrist will be remembered by both the Deccan Chargers as well as by the Kings XI Punjab. The whole IPL would miss the talents showed by Gilchrist in the field.

Lawson made Consultant of Under 19 Afghanistan Cricket Team

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has snapped up the services of former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson for the Under 19 Afghanistan Cricket Team, as a consultant for the team as it looks ahead to the Under 19 Cricket World Cup that is to be held later in the year Down Under in Australia.

Lawson, who coached the Pakistan Cricket Team for around a couple of years, will join the Afghan team when they reach Australia three weeks before the tournament kicks off in August. According to an official of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, they had approached the Australian for the post of consultant and he has agreed to take over the role of consultant for the young side.

The official also added that any input that the youngsters from the Under 19 Afghanistan Cricket Team manage to get from Lawson will be useful due to his vast knowledge of the game. The biggest advantage from the appointment will, however, be from the fact that they will learn a lot about the conditions as Lawson is a local Australian and he knows the conditions better than most people.

He also went on to add that there has been discussions in the Board meetings to hand him the role on a permanent basis or even hand over the reins of the national side if he shows some kind of interest, but the general feeling is that Lawson will not take the risk of travelling down to the war torn country on a regular basis after his experience with Pakistan.

Regardless of the matter, the Afghanistan Cricket Board is also looking to appoint David Dwyer as the trainer of the senior Afghanistan Cricket Team. Dwyer was the former trainer of the Pakistan team as well as the national rugby team of Fiji since 2010.

AFGHANISTAN QUALIFY

For only the second time in history, Afghanistan has managed to qualify for the Twenty20 world cup. The feat is one of the greatest achievements in Afghanistan’s sporting history with the wore torn nation not being known for its sporting prowess.

While the team has virtually no chance of success at the actual tournament, their even being there is a huge boost for both Afghan cricket and sport in general.

The team won the right to compete in the world cup after defeating Namibia by 44 four runs last month. The tournament they were competing in was a qualification tournament for third tier cricket nations who don’t play test cricket. Earlier in the tournament the Afghan team was also able to defeat the Netherlands who were considered the favorites coming into the tournament.

The actual tournament will be played in September in Sri-lanka with all of the world’s leading cricketing nations taking part. While an upset from a second of third tier nation is unlikely, the random nature of International t20’s means anything is possible. If you were having a bet on cricket then we’d suggest you back England rather than Afghanistan, but you never know!

The captain of the Afghan cricket team, Captain Nawroz Mangal said the team was ready to take on the world’s best. He described he said the win meant a “big day for the entire nation” and that his team wanted to succeed for his nation’s people.

The appearance in Sri-lanka will not the first appearance of Afghanistan in a major tournament. They previously played in the T20 world cup in the West-indies where they failed to win a game.

The Afghan team faces numerous challengers due to the fact that their nation is at the heart of the war on terror. Due to instability they are unable to train or play within Afghanistan and are forced to play all their matches at neutral venues.

CHAPPELL FEARS FOR TEST FUTURE

Gregg Chappell might have left his post as the coach of the Indian Cricket Team almost 5 years back now after the debacle of a first round exit 2007 World Cup but it seems that he still holds a grudge against anything and everything about Indian cricket, blasting the attitude of the team towards Test cricket in a recent interview.

The former Indian Cricket Team coach said that the Indians hardly seemed interested in playing Test cricket during their recently concluded Tour of Australia, further commenting that Test cricket is extremely hard for Indians, especially when it is played on foreign soil.

Speaking at a promotional for his book, the former Australian cricketer let his heart out in the interactive questions and answers session, most of which was spent blasting away at the Indian Cricket Team.

When asked about the Indian team’s disinterest in Tests and how it would affect the longer version of the game overall considering that the BCCI controlled almost everything in cricket, Chappell was quick to point out that he had noticed their disinterest in Tests when he was the coach of the side.

He pointed out that his time in the Indian team’s dressing room taught him a few valuable lessons: they are only interested in making money playing in the 20 over matches and even in One Day Internationals, they more or less manage to put up with it instead of excelling in it.

Sadly it looks as though test creicket is on its way out, with the latest cricket odds offering over 50/1 that the game will still be being played at the highest level in 10 years time.

Chappell also noted that Test cricket is difficult for not only India, but for almost all the teams of the subcontinent who struggle when they have to play in bouncy wickets outside their own comfort zone, making it a tough task for them and as a result, Test cricket is suffering.

TALIBAN GET IN TOUCH

The very mention of their name might send a chill a chill down the spine of almost everyone living in and around Afghanistan, but in a recent news that shocked almost everyone in the region, the Taliban called up the Afghanistan Cricket Board to convey a message to the Afghanistan Cricket Team ahead of their scheduled One Day International match against neighbors Pakistan at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

The message that was sent to the Cricket Board by the Taliban was conveyed by their spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid and once this news spread; there was widespread disbelief at this gesture by the terrorist organization.

The One Day International match against Pakistan was the first time that the Afghanistan Cricket Team played against a team that had the status of playing in Test cricket and they expectedly lost the match by a massive seven wickets in the end, but that was not before they had won several hearts through a gritty display of determination and winning mentality.

According to the Chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, everyone is taking immense interest in the development of cricket in Afghanistan. Even the President of the country manages to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule to watch a cricket match when the team is in action and with the latest development, it can only spell good news for the game in the country as a whole.

The Board Chairman also added that over the last decade, the country has been riddled with many problems and people have to bear with all the troubles that come their way without complaining. Cricket is a sport that allows these people to derive some joy and with the performances of the Afghanistan Cricket Team, these people are hoping for a better tomorrow thorough the game.