Afghanistan sealed a comfortable win against Maldives in the first game of the ACC U-16 Challenge Cup at the Penang Sports Club. Opening bowler Qayoum Zazai and off-break bowler Shamsurhman Karokhil took four wickets each to help Afghanistan to a nine-wicket win.

Qadeer Zazai was the only Afghanistan wicket to fall as he gifted his wicket for an easy catch to gully in the third over. Afghanistan’s captain Javed Ahmadzai (25*) won the game with a sweetly timed shot over mid-wicket in the tenth over after some relatively cautious batting.

The Penang Sport Club Ground

What was a cloudy start to the day soon saw the skies clear for a sunny opening to the ACC U-16 Challenge Cup. Maldives chose to bat and nerves were apparent from both sides at the beginning. They lost their first wicket in the opening over but only after some loose bowling from Qayoum Zazai (three no balls and two wides).

Afghanistan were the quicker of the teams to settle into the game with Zazai (4-13) and Karokhil (4-4) taking two wickets apiece by the end of the seventh over.

Kharokhil in action

Maldives struggled throughout their innings against both the pace and spin attack, not being able to connect much with the ball. It was Afghanistan’s extras (20) that was the top score for Maldives. Spin bowlers Karokhil and Ahmadzai (1-0) were deadly accurate with their deliveries not allowing the Maldivian batsmen any room for error.

“We had taken the boys for a 20-day camp in Islamabad in Pakistan. They have done very well today but there is more to improve. For their first international game as a team, I think they did quite well.

“Our team bowled quite well and I am sure the team will learn from this experience,” said Afghanistan coach Assadullah Khan.

Afghanistan next play Bhutan at the Universiti Sains Malaysia day after tomorrow.

Afghanistan v Maldives at Penang Sports Club
Maldives won the toss and chose to bat
Maldives: 38 all out off 13.4 overs (Q. Zazai 4-13, S. Karokhil 4-4)
Afghanistan: 39 for 1 off 9.4 overs
Man of the Match: Shamsurhman Karokhil (Afghanistan)

Tournament Page

Filed July 12th, 2010