Afghanistan win inaugural Desert T20 Challenge 2017

By on January 21, 2017

Afghanistan win inaugural Desert T20 Challenge 2017.
Afghanistan gave a perfect farewell to their newly appointed chief selector; Nawroz Mangal was playing his last International match. Now Nawroz will continue his role with team as a chief selector before this tournament he announced his retirement and asked for a farewell match. He played more than one match in this concluded tournament, which was eventually won by Afghanistan. Ireland had a disappointed end as they were bundled out on just 71 runs in final. Ireland scored over 200 against Scotland in second semifinal; however they weren’t able to repeat their performance at bigger occasion.

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After winning the toss Ireland decided to bat first and desired to repeat their stint of Semifinal of posting huge total. They were outclassed by some brilliant spin bowling of Afghanistan. Mohammad Nabi delivered the goods once again for Afghanistan as his four-wicket haul, His four for 10 helped Afghanistan blow Ireland away for just 71 runs in the final in Dubai.

The other bowlers too made their marks as Amir Hamza, Fareed Ahmad and Karim Janat all picked up two wickets apiece to leave Ireland in tatters. None of Irish batsmen was able to play quality cricket against Afghan bowlers. Only Paul Stirling and Greg Thompson could cross double figures mark.

At halfway stage, it was obvious thinking that Afghanistan will win but everyone was hoping that Ireland will do something extra to defend this marginal total. But Afghanistan openers finished their job inside 8 overs. Mohammad Shahzad 52 off 40 balls and Nawroz Mangal 17 off 8 balls finished to work at office.

Player of Match and Series was awarded to Mohammad Nabi, who had a perfect tournament with both bat and ball.

 

 

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Before this exciting final happened later at the evening, earlier in the day two semifinal matches were also played. Afghanistan beat Oman by 8 wickets in first Semifinal, while Ireland beat Scotland by 98 runs in a thumping win.

Mohammad Shahzad played a superb innings of 80 from only 60 balls and became a vital part to run chase against Oman. Fareed Ahmed picked up three wickets. While Rashid Khan also had two scalps for Afghanistan to restrict Oman at 149 for 8.

 

In Second semi-final, some brilliant batting of Stirling (60 off 36) and Gary Wilson (65 off 29) put Ireland in a commanding position, as they posted 211 for 6.  In reply Scotland was bundled out at only 113 runs. It was brilliant bowling spells of Mulder (4 for 16) and Dockrell (3 for 28). These two spells played a vital part in giving Ireland a place in Semi-final.

It was nearly a packed house, when final being played between Ireland and Afghanistan. Crowd was supporting Afghanistan and their team won the inaugural Desert T20 champions.

Here is complete fixture and results

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Hamadullah Sohu is a freelance Cricket blogger. Do follow him on twitter @hsohu