Afghanistan Thrash Kenya In Opening T20
Afghanistan 162-6 (Asghar Stanikzai 43) beat
Kenya 56 (Hamid Hassan 3-4) by 106 runs
1st Twenty20 International, Sharjah
Afghanistan dismissed Kenya for just 56 on their way to a 106-run win in the first Twenty20 International in Sharjah.
After Asghar Stanikzai had top scored with 42 to propel Afghanistan to 162 for six, Hamid Hassan took three for four as Kenya only managed to bat for 18.4 overs.
Mirwais Ashraf and Samiullah Shenwari also grabbed two cheap wickets to complete the fifth biggest win in terms of runs in the short history of Twenty20 International cricket.
Afghanistan, thanks to Mohammad Shahzad's 36 in 19 balls at the top of the order, took an early hold on proceedings and although Karim Sadiq (4) and Nawroz Mangal (9) fell cheaply, runs came late on from Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi (26) and Shenwari, who thumped 39 not out in 14 balls with four sixes.
Shem Ngoche picked up two for 29 and there was a wicket apiece for Hiren Varaiya, Nelson Odhiambo, Rageb Aga and Collins Obuya.
Kenya were then brushed aside by Afghanistan's bowlers, who led by Hassan, quickly had them in trouble at seven for four and 21 for five.
Only Rakep Patel (11) and Odhiambo (13) reached double figures, and such was the dominance of the bowlers, that they used up 20 and 36 balls respectively.
Hassan's analysis of three overs, one maiden, three wickets for four runs was a testament to his accuracy and pace, as were the methods of dismissals - Maurice Ouma and Irfan Karim both bowled and Obuya trapped in front.
Ashraf removed Patel and Shenwari Odhiambo after which he had Elijah Otieno stumped to round off a win to start a big week for Afghanistan cricket in the perfect fashion.
The two sides meet in the first of two ODIs on Wednesday and Friday which will determine whether Afghanistan progress automatically to the 2015 World Cup.
On this showing, anything other than them joining Ireland at the earliest opportunity looks unlikely.
© Cricket World 2013