Afghanistan pulled off a remarkable and an extremely hard fought victory over Qatar in their second game of the tournament. Although they went on to win by 40 runs, the Afghans had to dig deep in order to get the win.

Both teams came into today on the back of victories in yesterday's games and were pretty confident about themselves. Afghanistan came into bat and were off rather smoothly with Sajed Khan (19) and Shir Shirzai (20). Although the pair played some beautiful shots, they both fell within the 14th over. At 46-2, Noor ul Haq (59) entered and it soon became obvious that he was to be the thorn in Qatar’s flesh.

Afghan Coach, Taj Malik, said “Losing our openers cheaply cost us dearly. We were on the back foot from then on and our plan was just to save wickets and last out 50 overs.”

Afghanistan's Noor ul Haq: A match-winning
performance with the bat

Haq nearly achieved the feat as he single-handedly, literally, got the runs whilst all he needed was a non-striker at the other end. He played a total of 101 balls and hit 5 fours. As wickets fell all around him, Haq persevered but finally gifted his wicket to Tamoor Sajjad in the 46th over. He was the last wicket to fall for the Afghans at 161 and left the field to cheers from all around.

Quite similarly, Qatar too were two wickets down in 15 overs. Qatar’s ‘ace’ batsman, Tamoor Sajjad (10) has had a dismal tournament so far scoring zero in the first game and only ten against Afghanistan. With Qatari wickets falling at swift intervals, the team was in dire need of a ‘Faheem Sajjad performance’. Iqbal Hussain (19) steadied his teams nerves, but for a short while as he lost his wicket to a spectacular catch taken by Obaidullah Obaid.

At 98-6 after 30 overs, Qatar had a singular strand of hope pinned on Faheem Sajjad (8). Sajjad’s performance against Hong Kong yesterday was pivotal and eventually led them to victory. Unfortunately for Qatar, this was asking too much from the player as he was trapped plumb LBW on eight. An over and six runs later, Qatar slumped to their first defeat of the tournament as they fell short of 40 runs.

Izatuallah Khan (3-26), Obaidullah Kunari (2-20) and Aimal Wafa (2-22) were the cause of most of the damage.

With his superb innings of 59, Noor ul Haq, was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Afghanistan v Qatar at Club Aman
Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat
Afghanistan: 161 all out after 46.5 overs (N. Haq 59; T. Sajjad 3-35)
Qatar: 121 all out after 38 overs (I. Khan 3-26)
Man of the Match: Noor ul Haq (Afghanistan)


Filed August 21 2007