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T20 World Cup | Asghar Afghan is the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced, says Naveen-ul-Haq

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Afghanistan registered a 62-run victory against Namibia on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

| Courtesy - Twitter

T20 World Cup | Asghar Afghan is the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced, says Naveen-ul-Haq

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SportsCafe Desk

10/31/2021

After registering a thumping 62-run victory against Namibia on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq stated that Asghar Afghan is the best captain the country has ever produced. Asghar notched up a 23-ball 31 in his farewell match, while Naveen excelled with the ball, returning 3/26.

Hazratullah Zazai (33) and Mohammad Shahzad (45) started off with a 53-run stand, after Afghanistan opted to bat first in their third T20 World Cup 2021 clash. Shahzad fell five runs short of his 13th T20I fifty, but that wasn't before the wicketkeeper-batsman became the 12th cricketer to cross the 2,000-run milestone in T20I cricket.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (4) and Najibullah Zadran (7) couldn't contribute much to the innings, and the scorecard read 113/4 when the latter departed in the 16th over. However, Asghar Afghan (31), who played his farewell match, stitched up a 35-run stand with Mohammad Nabi (32* off 17) and guided the team to 160/5 at the end of 20 overs. For Namibia, Ruben Trumpelmann and JN Loftie-Eaton bagged two wickets each. 

In reply, Namibia faced an early blow as they lost Craig Williams (1) in the very first over of the innings. Naveen-ul-Haq and Hamid Hassan led the way for Afghanistan with three wickets each, and helped thier team to restrict the Gerhard Erasmus-led side to 98/9. For Nambia, David Wiese (26) was the only batsman, who managed to cross the 15-run mark. 

Naveen, who was adjudged Man of the Match, dedicated his award to Asghar Afghan, and stated that the 33-year-old has been the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced. Afghan, in his last international game on Sunday, was welcomed with a guard of honour by his opponents.

"I made my debut under his captaincy, so I want to dedicate it to him. I was watching the first innings carefully, on how to bowl with the new ball. It's special to bowl in front of the Afghanistan fans. I think Asghar has been the best captain Afghanistan has ever produced. We will be missing him a lot," said Naveen after the match.

Asghar lauded Naveen for his stellar performance with the ball. He further thanked the fans for their support throughout his career. 

"Naveen showed his talent today. It was an important win for us, he bowled really well (on Naveen-ul-Haq), used his variations extremely well on this wicket. Thanks to the fans for all the support given to the team so far and hope that it'll continue throughout the tournament," said Asghar after the match.

Meanwhile, skipper Nabi was pleased with the fine show put on by his seamers and looked back at Afghan's contribution to the team.

"The boys have a good morale. Our plan is normally to bat first but mentally we are ready to chase as well. In the meeting, we tell both openers to go and play their game. The way they are playing for last ten years. We always depend on spin, but we have good seamers too. They are quality bowlers as Hamid showed today. Last night Asghar told me that tomorrow it might be my last game. It's his decision. He has played for 16 years, captained for 6-7 years, and has won a lot of games for Afghanistan. He has won the most games for a captain in the world. [On if he asked him to change his mind] He had already decided," said Nabi after the match.

Afghanistan will next face India on Wednesday, November 3 in Abu Dhabi.

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