Group B: Afghanistan v Kuwait at Tudhikel Ground

Mubasher Khalid picking up the Man of the Match award
In the tournament’s first upset Kuwait beat a strongly fancied Afghanistan by seven wickets at the newly laid Tudhikel Ground.

Afghanistan will cite rustiness and jet-lag as contributing factors but there can be no doubt that Kuwait outplayed them in every department Ali Shehzad took 4 wickets for Kuwait off ten economical overs and he was ably supported by Sibtain Raza who bowled his full complement for just 32 runs.

A seventh wicket partnership of 99 between Basir Zada (55)and Asghar Hotak (39) being largely responsible for Afghanistan reaching a competitive 200 by the time they were dismissed in the 48th over. The new wicket at Tudhikel is playing fast and true and Kuwait’s batsmen accustomed to playing off concrete, relished the conditions. None more so than Mubasshir Khalid who blasted an undefeated 77 of just 63 balls ( nine 4s, four 6s). An Inzamam-like figure, he just doesn’t seem to believe in singles.

With the group thrown wide open with this result, net run-rate could well be the determining factor and Kuwait have done themselves a power of good by cruising home in the 35th over.

Filed November 9 2005