‘So proud’: Afghanistan’s Zadran hails World Cup shock
CHENNAI, India (AFP)— Afghanistan opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran said he was “proud for myself and my country” after the stunning eight-wicket win over Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup on Monday.
Chasing a 283-run target, Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77 not out) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) steered the team to their second win of the tournament after they had also shocked defending champions England.
“In this kind of event, this is so big for me. I am feeling very proud of myself and for my country,” said 21-year-old Zadran.
“I wanted to go out with positive intent and with a positive mind.”
Zadran and fellow opener Gurbaz, who is also just 21, put on 130 for the first wicket as Afghanistan defeated Pakistan for the first time in eight ODI meetings.
“Me and Gurbaz have put on a lot of good partnerships together. We have played together since we were 16 so we always have good communication,” he added.
“The support from him at the other end was very important and gave the team good momentum.”
Pakistan have now lost three games on the trot after opening the World Cup with two wins.
“That really hurt us,” said under-fire captain Babar Azam.
“We got a good total but our bowling is not up to the mark.
“In World Cups you need all three departments firing and we haven’t done that. Afghanistan played very well but we gave them a lot of runs and it cost us.”
The win was greeted with celebratory gunfire, cheers and fireworks across the Afghan capital Kabul for at least 15 minutes after the match concluded.
The victory for Afghanistan comes at a time of tense political and diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.