England wins the match, Afghanis the applause

Afghani Cricket 1s


Najibullah Wasseh with daughter Bahisht supporting the Afghani cricket team with the flag and wearing its jersey

Kersi Meher-Homji provides crowd atmosphere

The England ”“ Afghanistan match on the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday (Friday) was in a way a non-event. Both teams had earlier failed to qualify for the quarter finals.

Afghani Cricket 2s


But the atmosphere by the Afghanistan supporters was electric; not only at the SCG but also outside the ground. I boarded a bus from Central Station to go to the SCG and the bus was full of Afghanis carrying the Afghanistan flag.

Out of about 10,000 spectators, 90 percent were Afghanis. Against eight Union Jack flags I counted over 100 Afghanistan flags fluttering. Every run scored by Afghan batsmen was cheered and the seven fours and a six hit by them brought the SCG down.

Skipper Mohammad Nabi who hit one four and one six and Shafqullah who top scored with 30 runs (including a four) were the crowd favourites. Not even the three rain interruptions dampen their supporters’ enthusiasm.

Afghanistan scored 7 for 111 in 36.2 overs. By the Duckworth-Lewis rain rule, England was set 101 runs to win in 25 overs. With opening batsmen Ian Bell (57) and Alex Hales (37) putting on 83 for the first wicket, England reached their win target easily for the loss of only one wicket and won the match by nine wickets with 41 balls in hand.

But the crowd was quiet and the match ended in deathly silence.

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