After historic World Cup win, Afghanistan dream of playing Test cricket

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Dunedin, Feb 26: After guiding Afghanistan to their first ever ICC World Cup win here today against Scotland, Samiullah Shenwari said their dream is to play Test cricket.

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Shenwari hit 96 as Afghanistan recovered from 97/7 to successfully chase down 211 in a cliffhanger of a match at University Oval for a historic victory.

File photo: Shenwari dreams of playing Test cricket

The 28-year-old Shenwari came close to hitting his maiden ODI ton but fell 4 runs short after attempting a six, 4th one in the over from offspinner Majid Haq. Shenwari was the 9th wicket to fall with his team needing 19 more to win from 19 balls.

After surviving some tense moments, Shapoor Zadran, the number 11 batsman, hit a boundary off the third ball in the final over to seal Afghanistan's win.

Reflecting on the famous success and Test ambitions, Shenwari said, "Yes. Yes, we have a dream to play a Test match and we are looking forward to playing with Test nations more matches."

This was for the first time Afghanistan were playing in a World Cup. They came through qualifying stages.

War-ravaged Afghanistan had nothing for cricket 10 years ago, but now cricket is everywhere, Shenwari said.

"I think there was nothing before. You can look 10 or eight years ago, there was nothing in Afghanistan. But now you can say the streets, school, everything you go, it's just cricket and cricket, so maybe in next ten years maybe we can do," Shenwari said.

On asked how were the celebrations after the victory he said, "When we won, we shouted. Like one shout, but big shout. Then coach came and then calm down and said it's just one match, and still we have a World Cup. Two more matches to win to get there to that stage."

When asked about his dismissal, he admitted it was a bad shot. "It was like a bad shot for me."

"I would say I did my job, and my job was to just staying on the wicket till the end," he said.

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