Afghanistan thrash Kenya in first T20 International
Afghanistan gave themselves a huge boost in confidence ahead of their two crucial ODIs against Kenya with a thumping win in the first of two Twenty20 Internationals at Sharjah yesterday.
Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first, with Mohammad Shahzad dominating the opening partnership of 39 by scoring 36 from 19 balls. Two quick wickets slowed down the scoring rate though, and Afghanistan were on 69 when the third wicket fell in the twelfth over.
Asghar Stanikzai scored 43 from 34 balls, whilst Samiullah Shenwari blitzed 39 from just 14 balls to take Afghanistan to a total of 162-6 from their 20 overs.
Kenya's reply started badly when they lost three wickets in four balls across the first and second overs, and their innings never really recovered from there. Hamid Hassan bowled superbly at the start, taking three wickets for just four runs from his three overs - the equal second most economical bowling performance in Twenty20 Internationals.
Kenya were bowled out for 56 to lose by 106 runs, the lowest score in the history of Twenty20 Internationals.
The two sides will now meet in two crucial ODIs as part of the World Cricket League Championship. Afghanistan need to win both to get into the 2015 World Cup, otherwise the UAE will qualify and Afghanistan will have to play in the qualifier in New Zealand early next year.
After the two ODIs the teams will play an Intercontinental Cup game before playing the second Twenty20 International.