The Afghanistan Youth Cricket Association (AYCA) team won two of their three matches in the Dr. M.A. Shah Lephone Night T20 Trophy, also known as the Ramadan Cup in Karachi, Pakistan. Afghanistan lost to Korangi Al-Fatah, but won against Malir Gymkhana and Mullakatiar C.C.

Afghanistan YCA has thus secured a place for itself in the quarter finals of the tournament.

The Dr. M.A. Shah Lephone Night Trophy (Ramadan Cup) is contested among 16 teams including AYCA. The matches are played in Karachi at night under floodlights.

The team's captain Khaliqdad Noori blamed the late start of the match (1 am instead of 11 P.M.), his team's late arrival in Karachi and not having enough rest for the first loss. Khaliqdad also complained about the umpiring in the match. Pakistani media reported that the Afghans have suffered due to umpires inappropriate decisions in the match.

Afghanistan YCA won the toss in this match and chose to bat first. Korangi Al-Fatah had to chase 117 runs to win. The DAWN newspaper reports: “11 to win from 8 balls, Hassan traps the opposition skipper Malik Aftab Alam plumb in front. The umpires say not out and the ball runs away to the fine leg boundary. The batsman takes a double of the last ball and Korangi all of a sudden require 5 from the final over. Now the umpire does something which was dimwit-ish to say the least. With two to win from three balls, the batsman taps the ball to mid-off, the fielder runs in and aims but finds the umpire in his way. The umpire, instead of running to the other side of the wicket to take his position for the potential run out situation had actually run directly in the line of sight of the fielder who had to hold his throw back until he found space around the umpire's body. The throw obviously missed the stumps as Korangi stole another run and won the match.”

Afghanistan YCA contested its second match against Malir Gymkhana which also witnessed tense last moments. Malir Gymkhana won the toss and elected to bat first making 92 runs and losing all wickets in 19.4 overs. Afghanistan's Hamid Hassan took 3 and Shahpoor 2 wickets. Chasing the target of 93, Shahzad scored 45 and Mohammad Nabi 20 winning the match by 5 wickets in 19.2 overs.

Afghanistan YCA had to win its third match last night to qualify for the quarter finals. It had put all its effort and made sure to give a high target to the Mullakatiar Cricket Club. The Afghan boys scored 204 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Mullakatiar C.C, attempting to chase the 205 target suffered early losses and lost all 10 wickets in 15 overs for the low score of 57 runs. Afghanistan YCA won by 147 runs and cruised into the quarter finals.

Afghanistan YCA assistant coach Haqdad Noori says the third match witnessed three records for this tournament: Samiullah Shinwari's 5 wickets including a hat trick, the highest score of the tournament, and a win by the highest winning margin so far.

AYCA is playing Pakistan Cricket Club on Tuesday evening in the quarter finals.

AYCA has received assistance from the Afghanistan Cricket Board and sponsorship from Etisalat Afghanistan, says the ACB. The ACB has provided the AYCA squad with 9 players from the current national team while two more players (Badshah Hussain and Shafiqullah Shafaq) have also played with the national team on previous occasions.

The tournament organizers say “the winning team will receive Suzuki Also cars, while Suzuki Mehrans will be given to the runner-up, and each man of the match will receive a motorcycle.”

Article reproduced by kind permission of The Cricket Post