Afghanistan 132-7 (Mohd. Shahzad 55) beat
Scotland 105-6 by 27 runs
First Twenty20 International, Sharjah
Afghanistan beat Scotland by 27 runs in the first of two Twenty20 Internationals in Sharjah after Mohammad Shahzad hit 55 in 46 balls.
He easily top scored as Afghanistan posted 132 for seven and despite Scotland using the opportunity to try a clutch of newly-qualified players, they could only manage 105 for six in reply.
Former Warwickshire all-rounder Neil Carter was one of four players making their first appearance for Scotland and although he took two for 27, he made just three with the bat.
Following a new ICC ruling enabling them to pick players with Scottish parentage born outside of Scotland, Iain Wardlaw, Matthew Machan and David Murphy also made their debuts.
Afghanistan are one of three One-Day International teams (Bangladesh and India being the others) to have fielded no players born outside of their borders since 2000 and today, homegrown talent was good enough.
It didn't always look like they were going to win, however, after losing openers Karim Sadiq for four and Nawroz Mangal without scoring to slip to five for two as Wardlaw and Carter struck.
Shahzad then hit six fours and a six, Asghar Stanikzai made 30 in 37 balls and Gulbodin Naib 15 in 10 balls to revive the innings.
They were the only players to reach double figures before Afghanistan collapsed from 84 for two to 123 for seven, eventually putting on enough late runs to give themselves a defendable score.
Wardlaw finished with two for 30 and Machan returned three for 23 with the wickets of Shahzad, Gulbodin and Mohammad Nabi (7).
Although Richie Berrington started things off well for Scotland, making 15, they struggled as Calum MacLeod (1), Carter and then Kyle Coetzer (16) fell cheaply.
From 39 for four, Machan attempted to perform a similar recovery to that which Shahzhad had affected earlier but after Preston Mommsen was dismissed for 13 with the score on 72 in the 16th over, he had been left with too much to do.
Moneeb Iqbal was the last man to fall for three, leaving Machan unbeaten on a valiant 42 in 38 balls and Murphy on six from five.
Captain Nabi made amends for his failure with the bat to take two for 12 while there was a wicket apiece for Aftab Alam, Sadiq and Samiullah Shenwari.
The two sides meet again at the same venue tomorrow (4th March) before also playing two One-Day Internationals and a four-day Intercontinental Cup match.
© Cricket World 2013
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