Afghanistan skipper Hasmatullah Shahidi admitted the dropped catches hurt them after their three-wicket loss against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Tuesday. Afghanistan had Australia under the pump at 91-7 after putting 291 runs on the board but they could not take their chances.
Hashmatullah Shahidi dropped a slightly tough chance against Glenn Maxwell as he was a bit late to react. Subsequently, Mujeeb Ur Rahman dropped a sitter at short fine leg when Maxwell was just on 33 runs. Maxwell went on to score 168 runs more after that drop and it proved to be costly for Afghanistan.
In fact, the all-rounder played with an ultra-aggressive approach but he didn’t give any more chances to the Afghan fielders.
Maxwell scored a scintillating knock of 201 runs as he took Afghanistan bowlers to the cleaners with his blistering batting. Afghanistan had their chances to even bowl out Australia below 171 and get ahead of Pakistan in NRR but squandered it. Shahidi gave credit to Maxwell for playing a match-winning knock but rued his team’s missed chances.
Hasmatullah Shahidi said in the post-match presentation, “Very disappointed. Cricket is a funny game, it was unbelievable for us. We were in the game, our bowlers started very well and the dropped chances hurt us. After that, Maxwell doesn’t stop, he played every kind of shot and I can give credit to him. I think the dropped catches were the key, after that Maxwell played really well. Our bowlers tried their best but he didn’t give any chance to us.”
He added, “Proud of the team, but we will be disappointed tonight. We didn’t think it would be this way, part of the game. This is cricket. We will try to come back strong against South Africa.”
On the other hand, Ibrahim Zadran became the first Afghanistan batter to score a century in World Cup history as he scored an unbeaten knock of 129 runs.
Shahidi said praising his team’s opener, “He (Ibrahim Zadran) must be proud of himself, I am also proud that he is the first Afghan with a WC hundred.”
Afghanistan will play their last league stage match against South Africa at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday and it will be a must-win game for them.