World Cup 2015: Shapoor, Shenwari, Rise of The New Afghan Heroes
Afghanistan have found new heroes this World Cup. If Shenwari has been a warrior with the bat, Shapoor Zardan has impressed one and all with the ball.
Twelve months ago Samiullah Shenwari starred with 81 runs as Afghanistan stunned Bangladesh at the Asia Cup, his country's only win over a Test nation. (Match Report)
On Thursday, the 28-year-old was making headlines again with a breathtaking 96 with seven fours and five sixes as Afghanistan clinched a nail-biting one-wicket win over Scotland for their first victory at the World Cup.
The muscular all-rounder -- he also bowls a decent line in leg-spin, made his debut in 2009, also against Scotland in Benoni in South Africa.
He is a hard act to keep quiet at the World Cup. (I Did My Job: Samiullah Shenwari)
As well as his 96 on Thursday, the man from Nangrahar made 42 in the opening game against Bangladesh and 38 in the defeat by Sri Lanka.
Against Bangladesh, he was also banned from bowling after just seven balls for running on the pitch.
Not one to shrink from expressing an opinion, he was furious with team-mate Dawlat Zadran for throwing away his wicket in Thursday's dramatic conclusion at Dunedin's University Oval.
"It was difficult because we lost early wickets but I did my job," said a modest Shenwari after his one-man demolition job, which featured the only five sixes of the match.
Shenwari was named man-of-the-match but number 11 batsman Shapoor Zadran, who also took four wickets, played an invaluable role, tucking away the winning boundary with three balls to spare.
The 27-year-old is hard to miss in Australia and New Zealand.
A tall, ramrod straight left-arm fast bowler, Shapoor has one of the longest run-ups at the event and probably the tournament's most unruly haircut, with his flowing black locks often plastered to his forehead.
If he was a right-hander, he could be mistaken for his hero Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan tearaway.
"I am angry every time I bowl. A bowler has to be angry, so that his reaction can carry over to the batsmen, who get unsettled and end up making a mistake," he told cricinfo.com.
Shapoor was born in the Logar Province of Afghanistan, but grew up in Peshawar in Pakistan to escape the ongoing conflict in his country.
When he returned to Afghanistan, he went for a trial with the national team despite his family's reservations.
He has since carved out a lucrative career in the game and has become one of the most recognised figures in the game.
One of those impressed by Shenwari, Shapoor and the whole squad was Afghan president Ashraf Ghani who immediately tweeted: "Congratulations. It was a fantastic and spirited performance from our boys. Well done! We are very proud of them."