World T20 Team Review: Afghanistan

In our first team review of the 2016 World T20, we look at how Afghanistan faired, producing some brilliant displays against all the odds.

World T20 Team Review: Afghanistan
Afghanistan celebrate their memorable win against the West Indies (photo:

In the first of our World T20 review pieces, capping off a thrilling tournament, we look at Afghanistan. Starting in the preliminary rounds, they qualified for the Super 10's, where they were more competitive than most would have imagined.


Due to competing in the preliminary rounds, Afghanistan played more games than any other team bar Bangladash, seven in total.

They were put in a group with Hong Kong, Scotland and Zimbabwe, progressing with three wins from three to move onto the Super 10 stage. 

The Afghan side beat Scotland by 14 runs on the first day of the tournament, before seeing off Hong Kong in an easier fashion - winning by six wickets.

Despite those wins, they still had to beat Zimbabwe, who had also won two out of two, in their final group game. They stood up and delivered though, beating Zimbabwe by 59 runs to cruise into the Super 10 stage. It was then where they met the big boys, namely Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and West Indies.

It must be said, Afghanistan performed far beyond expectation, and there were period's in each game where they could have won. Unfortunately, class shone through most of the time. Sri Lanka won by six wickets, England by 15 runs and South Africa by 37 runs.

Those defeats saw them knocked out fairly early, but further joy was yet to come, as Afghanistan recorded a historic win over the West Indies in their last Super 10 game.

Although they were minus Chris Gayle, who celebrated with the Afghan players after the game, the West Indies were still favourites, Afghanistan beating them by six runs in a closely fought contest.

Chris Gayle pictured with the Afghanistan players after their victory over his West Indian side (photo: Getty Images)
Chris Gayle pictured with the Afghanistan players after their victory over his West Indian side (photo: Getty Images)

High's and low's 

Whilst establishing themselves as a real force amongst the 'minnows' of World Cricket by dominating the pre-lims, it's obvious that the high point will be that memorable Super 10 victory.

As for the low's, there really weren't many, although the inability to beat England after restricting the finalists to 85-7 at one point in their innings may frustrate some players.

Star man

Mohammad Nabi is likely to take the acclaim as Afghanistan's standout player, the all-rounder delivering impressive perforances with bat and ball, never looking out of place when facing up to the star's.

He scored a terrific half-century when it mattered against Zimbabwe, in what was arguably his best batting performance. With the ball he was superbly consistent, taking a wicket in all seven games, the highlight of which being 2/17 against England.

Nabi made a name for himself in the tournament (photo: zimbio)
Nabi made a name for himself in the tournament (photo: zimbio)

What next?

Whilst most of the big nations will be moving on to their summer tour's, the battle for Afghanistan is now once again strengthening their reputation as a cricketing nation.

They've established themselves as arguably the best of the minnows, and now they've got to work with the ICC to secure the future of non test-playing nation's at international events. Afghanistan will of course, be continuing their battle to one day become a fully fledged test playing nation.

In a sentence?

About as good as it could have realistically got for Afghanistan, who ended superbly by beating the West Indies.