Nabi leads Afghans to win over Hong Kong


Afghanistan recorded a six-run win over Hong Kong in their World Cup qualifier group match on Thursday, thanks in large part to veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi's four wickets.

Hong Kong only managed to score 116 for six in their 20 overs, hampered by regular wickets falling, and Afghanistan chased it down with relative ease in the end, with 12 balls to spare.

Hong Kong had won the toss and opted to bat, and soon found that the Afghan pacemen and spinners alike were tough to get away, and scoring relied largely on edges to the ropes and quick singles.

Openers Jamie Atkinson and Ryan Campbell did manage to stick around for a decent spell, and put on 40 for the first wicket inside six overs, before Campbell was bowled by Mohammad Nabi.

Wickets fell steadily after that, with Nabi ending the innings with four wickets, while Anshuman Rath top scored with 28. Campbell had made 27 and Atkinson 16, while the only other player to reach double figures was Kinchit Shah (11).

The Afghans would have been confident about chasing a meagre 117 to win, given their greater experience levels and veteran batting line up. This proved accurate as they put on 70 for the first wicket.

Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran had very little trouble to contend with in the first 10 overs, hitting regular boundaries until Shahzad tried one too many and hit it right down long off's throat.

With Shahzad out for 41, this brought Nabi to the crease with Noor Ali on 28 at the time. Nabi was able to strike some lusty blows on his way to 17, but was bowled by Campbell with the score on 95.

Najibullah Zadran was on hand to lead the side home though, scoring 17 quick runs, as the Afghans secured victory with two overs to spare despite a few late wickets falling.