Asia Cup 2014: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: 'We'll Be Busting Out a Few Dance Moves'
By Shruthi SU | March 2, 2014 3:23 PM EST
There are some moments in cricket history that cannot be erased from the minds of viewers even after decades pass by - India vs West Indies World Cup 1983, Bermuda vs India World Cup 2007, Australia vs Zimbabwe World Cup 1983, England vs Zimbabwe World Cup 1992, and it goes on. The latest addition to that list is Afghanistan vs Bangladesh Asia Cup 2014.
Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari put up a stupendous 164-run partnership to become the rightful heroes of Afghanistan's 32-run upset victory over Bangladesh. Playing a Test member only for the fourth time and already on the winning side, there must be so many things that the "minnows" must be doing right.
"It's a historic win for Afghanistan. This is just the fourth time we are playing an ODI against a Test member, and beating a Test nation in our fourth exposure, it is a huge achievement," said Stanikzai who scored his career-best 90 in 103 deliveries. "I don't think any other Associate member has beaten a Test member in their fourth attempt.
"To be honest with you guys, every single victory counts back home. It has a huge impact. With this victory, cricket will grow even more and the interest in cricket will grow. We are trying our best to put up a positive case for cricket back home and we have achieved a lot in such a short time. This will bring lots of happiness. Everyone will be celebrating."
A victory in that style definitely demands celebrations of the same kind. Team manager Shafiqullah Stanikzai said they would do it the Afghani way with some traditional moves.
"Normally we celebrate it with Attan, that's our traditional dance and we do it quite a lot," Shfiqullah said. "I think Shapoor [Zadran] will be on the dance floor tonight. Shapoor and [Mohammad] Shahzad are our party-makers and they'll ensure there is a party."
Coming back to the reason for all the celebrations, Asghar Stanikzai said he was confident even on 34 off 70 balls and knew his role well enough to see his team through the last overs.
"My main job is to play as long as possible, take the game till the 50th over, and let the other batsmen play around me," Stanikzai said. "When I went in, the situation was not in our favour so I had to stay at the crease and focus on every single ball. I had scored only 30 in 70-plus balls - but I know my capabilities and I can score 70 in 30 balls as well. But I had to take the game till the end and make it a bit longer and thanks to god it paid off."
There were a few mistakes on the Afghanistan side, as they dropped five Bangladesh catches which could have proved costly at the end. Stanikzai though didn't seem much worried in the middle of so much excitement.
"We didn't want to beat Bangladesh so comprehensively, that's why we missed a few chances," joked Stanikzai.
"But jokes apart, yes, it was history in the making so every single one of us was excited. We are still excited and very happy. That might be why some chances went down and took the game a lot closer."
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