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If Afghanistan’s batsmen score runs then we can beat England - Shahidi

Hashmatullah Shahidi
Hashmatullah Shahidi
©Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Shahidi insists they have enough quality to upset hosts England next week - but only if their batsmen can score some runs.

  • Afghanistan were bowled out for 125 by South Africa and were beaten by nine wickets
  • Next up for Afghanistan is tournament hosts England at Old Trafford

The Asian side collapsed to 125 all out against South Africa in Cardiff, the Proteas duly knocking off the runs for a nine-wicket victory inside 30 overs.

Now Afghanistan, winless in the tournament so far, head to Old Trafford to take on in-form England, who sit top of the ODI rankings and have won three of four matches.

“I can say if we play good cricket, we can beat any team but it depends on our batting,” the 24-year-old said.

“We are struggling. If we play good cricket, we can beat any team. We have lost four in a row so we are disappointed. We tried to come back but things have not gone our way. We still have five games to go.

“We collapsed against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, losing wickets in a short space of time. We lost four wickets in two overs here.

“We started well but we lost wickets quickly, that was the main reason for the defeat.”

 Afghanistan made an encouraging start on a green wicket, with Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali watchfully negotiating the early overs.

 Hazratullah – who models his game on West Indies opener Chris Gayle – then started to take risks and was duly caught out, finding Rassie van der Dussen in the deep off Kagiso Rabada's bowling.

 Rahmat Shah struggled for 22 balls and six runs before Chris Morris got him lbw but Afghanistan reached 69/2.

 However, a second rain delay dulled their focus and South Africa struck, with Andile Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir sharing four wickets in just over two overs.

 And the collapse did not end there, with Tahir finishing with 4/29 as Afghanistan fell to 125 all out before Quinton de Kock (68) and Hashim Amla (41 not out) comfortably steered the Proteas to their first win of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

 “We have played four games and they have all been on difficult tracks, on green tracks. But we know that runs can be scored, look at what Australia did against Sri Lanka,” Hashmatullah added.

 “I hope the next games will be good for the batting. We are making small mistakes, we have to learn from them.

 “We just had a plan to be calm. The first 30 or 35 overs is important and we wanted to take our time and play slowly but in the middle overs we collapsed.

 “The way Imran Tahir bowled, he took a wicket with the very first ball. The wicket was not easy for batting, 250 or 260 was a good target.

 “But we did not achieve that. Still, we have five games and we will now go and try.”

©Cricket World 2019