Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday felicitated the Afghanistan cricket team on their crushing 130-run win against Scotland during the T20 World Cup in Sharjah.
Chasing a daunting 191 for victory, Scotland were bowled out for 60 in 10.2 overs with five batters dismissed for a duck. Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman took five wickets while star leg spinner Rashid Khan claimed four wickets to hand Afghanistan their biggest victory in the game's shortest format.
"Congratulations to the Afghanistan cricket team on their convincing win against Scotland. Despite all the trials & tribulations their country is going through, the Afghan team showed great strength & determination to play & win," PM Imran wrote on his Twitter handle.
Congratulations to the Afghanistan cricket team on their convincing win against Scotland. Despite all the trials & tribulations their country is going through, the Afghan team showed great strength & determination to play & win.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 25, 2021
This was the team's first outing since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the game, captain Mohammad Nabi said: “Everyone knows that back home in Afghanistan there’s a lot happening and everything from the last few months."
Read more: Mujeeb stars as Afghanistan thrash Scotland
"But as a cricket point of view, everybody is ready for this World Cup and we prepared well."
"The fans are really waiting because the only happiness in Afghanistan is cricket," he said.
"If you're willing to do well in the tournament and we win the games, the fans are really happy and there will be a lot of smiles on faces."
After the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in August, the cricket team briefly faced the possibility of being banned from the tournament if the women's game was discontinued.
Afghanistan cricket chief Azizullah Fazli told AFP he wanted the focus to be on his team's cricket.
"Let us enjoy Afghanistan team's show in World Twenty20," Fazli said.
"We have a message of peace and love for the world. Our team is an entertaining bunch of players who want to show the world that we are here to win hearts.
"We want support from the cricket world and not boycott."
All-rounder Nabi took over as skipper when star spinner Rashid Khan stepped down as captain before visa issues in the Gulf placed yet another hurdle in the team's path.
"There was a little issue when we arrived in Dubai," Nabi said, acknowledging that the last 10 days were not "ideal".
The resounding win puts Afghanistan at the top of the Group 2 table above Pakistan, who thrashed rivals India by 10 wickets on Sunday.
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