In an Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup group clash, Afghanistan national team registered a historic 28-run win against India under-23 in Singapore on Thursday. This is the team's first win in any format of cricket against a Test-playing nation.
With just 184 runs to defend, Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi led from the front and his three wickets at an economy of 3.20 left the Indian batsmen reeling. Apart from a half-century from opener Lokesh Rahul, none of the other Indian batsmen could negotiate the Afghan attack. Needing 185 for a win, India finished at 156 for nine when their 50 overs ran out. Inspite of the defeat, India qualified for the semi-finals where they play UAE on Friday.
On Thursday, India started as overwhelming favourites with several members of the Under-19 World Cup-winning squad in the playing XI. The likes of Unmukt Chand (10), Baba Aparajith (2) and Ashok Menaria (5) however failed to push the Afghans.
Afghanistan batted first after losing the toss. Openers Karim Sadiq (25) and Mohammad Shahzad (38) provided a solid foundation before middle-order batsman Samiullah Shenwari hit an unbeaten 43 off 44 to propel the innings to 184/7.
This win comes as the second boost to Afghan sports after the national football team on Wednesday, defeated Pakistan in a friendly leading to jubilant celebrations on the streets of Kabul.
Afghanistan under-23: 184/7 in 50 overs (Samiullah Shenwari 43*, Mohammad Shahzad 38; Baba Aparajith 2/16) defeat
India under-23: 156/9 in 50 overs (Lokesh Rahul 51; Mohammad Nabi 3/32).