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Rain Washes Out 1st ODI between Afghanistan and Scotland

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Rain Washes Out 1st ODI between Afghanistan and Scotland

July 05
16:33 2016

afgNew Delhi, Tuesday, July 5 – Rains are unpredictable. It is hard for a common man to exactly anticipate when downpour can happen. Sometimes showers bring smile on the faces of the populace by dipping the mercury while at times play spoilsport as like yesterday when Afghanistan and Scotland were hoping to do well in the opening One Day International at Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh.

Afghanistan are on tour of Scotland for 2 ODIs. One ended a day ago without any result while one is to take place tomorrow at the same ground. Scotland Playing XI had Kyle Coetzer, Craig Wallace, the wicket-keeper Matthew Cross, Richie Berrington, Preston Mommsen – the captain, Alasdair Evans, Michael Leask, Safyaan Sharif, Ruaidhri Smith, Bradley Wheal and Con de Lange. Those to sit on bench were Calum MacLeod and Mark Watt, who will eye their name in the squad playing against Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Afghanistan team was led by Asghar Stanikzai. The men who were selected for good presentation of skills on the crease were Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran,  Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah and Hamid Hassan. The list of players in extra was long as Amir Hamza, Yamin Ahmadzai,  Shapoor Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Imran Janat, Afsar Zazai, Gulbadin Naib and Samiullah Shenwari watched each happening of the match. Post receiving an early hiccup of Noor Ali Zadran, who was dismissed at a single by Bradley Wheal, the opener Shahzad Mohammad made a start on a positive note. Ahmadi gave him desired support by playing a knock of 39 runs off 61 balls, together with five boundaries.

The wicket-keeper Shahzad appeared all guns blazing since he struck five classy boundaries in his 26-run knock off 25 balls. But before he would have thought of staying on the crease, wicket was thrown by him post not judging the mood of delivery right and hitting a rash shot. Ahmadi and Rahmat Shah, the new batsman on the pitch, helped in steading the innings of Afghanistan. The two put a 53-run stand for the third wicket that was required to not let the team suffer batting collapse. The partnership was broken when Ahmadi was dismissed by Safyaan Sharif when 23rd over was in play. Hopes were up from Rahmat Shah but hardly a few would have believed this middle-order batsman to stay unbeaten at 100 runs that included eight 4s and a six.

The captain Stanikzai was not quick in hitting the shots but made sure to be on the other end. When he departed after Ahmadi, the play was stopped for a while thanks to rain. Afghanistan skipper scored 20 runs off 20 balls, along with a couple of fours. Rain seemed to give a much needed break to the tourist as the game was to change completely for Scotland in view of the fact that Najibullah Zadran arrived with a totally different mood. Rahmat Shah was already in great form. The duo began to raise the ante. Zadran slammed five sixes and nine boundaries in a short span of time to play a not out innings of 89 runs in just 53 balls with a strike rate of 167.92. Najibullah’s brisk fifty and Rahmat’s ton put Afghanistan in a strong position.

283 runs were scored by Afghanistan due to the much needed impetus given by Shan and Zardan before thunderstorm returned for a bit longer time. Wheal took two wickets, while Evans and Sharif picked one wicket apiece. 51 runs were scored by the traveling squad during mandatory powerplay. Since the rains did not stop, the play was called off. Had all 50 overs been bowled, Afghanistan would have put score of above 300 for Scotland to chase. Even though the game finished with no result, both teams must be aware about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The second and last ODI which starts on Wednesday has turned decisive. The group that wins tomorrow will clinch series 1-0. Afghanistan must be disappointed a little bit as rain spoilt the match that was in their grip. A fresh start will be eyed by both the host and guest to put best foot forward.

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