Dehra Dun: Basking in glory following their maiden Test win in only their second appearance, Afghanistan’s seasoned all-rounder Mohammad Nabi Monday said they are capable of beating any side if they bat well.
Nabi’s comments came after Afghanistan notched up a seven-wicket win over Ireland here. “We have the world’s best spinners and we try to concentrate on our batting line-up. If we can put up a good score on board then we are confident of beating any team in the world,” Nabi told reporters. The enormity of the achievement was not lost on Nabi.
“It’s a very historic day for whole of Afghanistan. Especially for those guys who bring cricket from zero to the Test cricket. We played two games and we won one. When you win then teams will tell you to come and play with them.
Nobody plays a weak team. They might think that Afghanistan is weak but not so much that we can’t fight them,” the 34-year-old said.
By matches, Afghanistan are joint second-fastest to a maiden Test-match win, alongside Pakistan and England. Chasing 147 for victory, Afghanistan rode on a 139-run second-wicket partnership between Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah Janat to secure a historic win months after their Test debut against India. Both batsmen scored fifties, with Shah striking his second of the game.
Star leg-spinner Rashid Khan also played a role in his team’s triumph after returning career-best figures of 5-82 to bowl out Ireland for 288 in their second innings. Afghanistan have managed to qualify for all major international tournaments in recent years and are gearing up to play in their second ICC World Cup this summer in the United Kingdom.
“Test has a different flavour to it. The way our boys performed it shows we are ready for Test cricket,” Nabi said.
Skipper Asghar Afghan was delighted at the result and praised his teammates. “Playing Test cricket was our dream and we played our second Test and we won the game,” Asghar said at the post-match presentation on Monday.
“It is a historic day for Afghanistan, for Afghanistan people, for our team, for our cricket board.’ Asghar added: ‘Happy that we won. Really happy for my team, people and the cricket board. Before we used to play two-day, three-day cricket and now we are playing the longer format and getting to play Test cricket. It’s a special feeling. I want to
congratulate all the lads in the team, they have been absolutely brilliant. We have got a few games before the World Cup and we want to make every opportunity count,” he said.