x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Afghanistan join the big boys

The UAE's World Twenty20 dream ended in tatters yesterday when they were beaten by Afghanistan with just three balls to spare.

Afghanistan celebrate a six against the UAE yesterday.
Afghanistan celebrate a six against the UAE yesterday.

DUBAI // The UAE's World Twenty20 dream ended in tatters yesterday when they were beaten by Afghanistan with just three balls to spare. And while the hosts were left downhearted Kabir Khan, the Afghanistan coach, warned that his side were ready to shock the top teams in world cricket. The four-wicket victory at Dubai Sport City sealed Afghanistan's place in the World Twenty20, cric-ket's most-watched global event, to be staged in the West Indies from the end of April.

And Kabir said: "We shouldn't go there just to participate, we should be confident that we can show something special, to show we haven't come just to be a practice team for them. "We want to give them a hard time, and if we can cause an upset or two, that will be great. "In 20 over cricket, it is anybody's game. We can win against any team." Taj Malik Khan, the assistant coach who has been with the side since they first played international matches in 2001, said much needs to be done to get his players up to speed.

"We will train against bowling machines, and set the bowling at 145kph or 150kph," he said. pradley@thenational.ae