#CWC15: Shenwari 96 sees Afghanistan to tense historic win over Scotland

MATCH 17: Samiullah Shenwari hit 96 to lift Afghanistan to a tense, dramatic and historic one-wicket win over Scotland.

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Chasing Scotland’s 210, Shenwari lifted his side from 97 for seven to haul is side within a gnats whisker from victory in the 47th over.

When he attempted to hit a fourth six of Majid Haq’s over to reach what would have been a well deserved century he instead found the hands of Josh Davey at long-on and Scotland were back in charge. Afghanistan still needed 19 to win with the last wicket pair together.

Shapoor Zadran, wuickly becoming a cult hero in this Cricket World Cup, rallied to see his side to within 5 runs of the win with an over to go.

Iain Wardlaw had the ball, a single was scored off the first, a nervy run-out nearly resulted from the second delivery and then a leg-stump full-toss was flicked away by Shapoor to spark celebrations.

“This is our first win in the World Cup,” said Mohammad Nabi, the Afghan captain. “The boys didn’t bat well, but Sami batted brilliantly and took pressure upon himself.

“It’s a good learning curve of how to handle the pressure, and it’s good to put two points on the board. Everyone will be enjoying this game in Afghanistan, and I hope we can get one more win. The support has been fantastic.”

GettyImages_464434522Scotland’s highest total in their World Cup history had seemed to have been enough to provide them with their first win on the game’s biggest stage.

Nawroze Mangal (7 off 13) was bowled by Alasdair Evans and Asghar Stanikzai (4) edged the same bowler behind and Afghanistan were 46 for two.

Richie Berringtom then claimed the big wicket of Ahmadi (51, 8 fours), the first of his 4-for-40, as the batsman lofted him high into the hands of Matt Machan.

Berrington took 3 for 9 in 19 balls as Afghanistan imploded, losing five wickets for only 9 runs. Shenwari however refused to budge.

He interspersed the big hits with defiant blocking he faced 147 balls, hit 7 fours and 5 sixes and wrote himself into World Cup legend.

As Afghanistan celebrated their maiden win in their debut World Cup the Scots were left to rue their best chance of tasting the victory that has eluded them thus far in three appearances in the tournament.

Their 210 was a team effort with sic batsmen passing 20, but their inability to secure a more imposing total could be attributed to the fact that no-one managed to surpass 31.

Calum McLeod cut a short ball to point for a duck and Hamish Hardiner was bowled for 5. Kyle Coetzer (25) drove down the wrong line and Scotland were floundering at 40 for three in the 12th over.

Matt Machan (31) and Peter Mommsen (23) added 53 for the fourth wicket, but couldn’t completely break the shackles. Machan was bowled attempting to go through the gears and Mommsen nicked behind.

Matthew Cross (15) edged behind to give the diving keeper, Afsar Zazai, the best of his three catches. Berrington made 25 from 46 balls before Shapoor, who ended with 4 for 38, had him caught behind.

Scotland was 144 for 8, but Haq (31) and Evans (28) added a Scottish record of 62 runs for the ninth wicket to steer their side to a competitive score. It was very nearly enough.

Scotland captain, Mommsen said : “It’s never easy losing a game, but it’s particularly a difficult one for us.

“We knew what to expect and the type of cricket they play. We had them 7 down and disappointed we couldn’t finish them off. We were always trying to take wickets. All the time we were trying to take 8, 9, 10.”

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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