Afghanistan tuned up for their upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup game against Kenya with two victories over the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) Development XI at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The matches were played on 23 and 24 September.

Around 1500 spectators in the first match and 3000 in the second match watched the matches. Spectators who came with drums and flags were mostly Afghan supporters.

First match

Led by skipper Nawroz Mangal (78: 101b, 3x4, 1x6) and Mohammad Nabi (71: 77b, 3x4, 3x6), Afghanistan posted 272 for eight in their 50 overs, In reply, ECB XI were bowled out for 137 with Nabi starring with the ball, taking the wickets of Haroon Iftikhar, who made a top score of 24 and Naeemuddin Aslam for 23.

Earlier, ECB XI elected to field first and had immediate success. Amjad Javed dismissed Afghanistan XI's consistent opener Noor Ali for a duck. Then, Shoaib Sarwar bagged opener Karim Sadiq for 14, before Nabi and Mangal settled down to play fine knocks. The pair took the score to 120 in just 28.3 overs before Nabi fell to off-spinner Rohan Mustafa. Mangal and Samiullah Serwani (30) then added 53 runs before Mohammad Tauqir struck repeatedly taking both the wickets, but Afghanistan posted a safe total which proved too much for the ECB XI.

On Friday night, Afghanistan displayed their batting ability in chasing down ECB XI's target of 306 for seven with six wickets to spare in the second and final one-day match. Leading the charge for Afghanistan was opener Noor Ali (114 not out: 82b, 18X4, 1x6) and Mirwais Ashraf who had to retire after hitting 123 runs off just 61 balls with seven boundaries and 11 sixes.

Earlier, ECB XI opted to bat first and were well served by one-drop batsman Swapnil Patil's 114 (141b, 10x4, 1x6). Arshad Ali supported him with a knock of 99 (65b, 3x4, 1x6). Later Shaimon Anwar took charge and hit a whirlwind 72 (41b, 6x4, 5x6). For Afghanistan XI fast bowler Aftab Alam picked up 5-48.

Afghanistan departed for Kenya on Monday and will arrive in Kenya at 7pm local time.

Article reproduced by kind permission of The Cricket Post