Asia Cup 2023: “We are still learning a lot,” Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi expresses pride in team’s performance

Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, expressed deep pride in his team’s performance following a heart-wrenching two-run loss to Sri Lanka, which resulted in their exit from the Asia Cup. Afghanistan needed to chase down a challenging target of 292 runs set by Sri Lanka in 37.1 overs to qualify for the Super4s but narrowly missed the mark, finishing at 289 runs in 37.4 overs.

Shahidi conveyed his disappointment but also lauded his team’s unwavering commitment and effort on the field. He particularly praised the exceptional innings by veteran Mohammad Nabi, who played one of the fastest half-centuries by an Afghanistan batter in ODIs. Shahidi highlighted that Afghanistan remains a team in the learning phase, with numerous positives emerging from the tournament.

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He expressed gratitude to the passionate Afghan supporters who have consistently stood by the team and pledged to learn from the experiences of the Asia Cup, aiming to perform even better in the upcoming World Cup.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s captain, Dasun Shanaka, acknowledged the immense challenge of defending a formidable total and commended Nabi for his exceptional innings. Shanaka emphasized the importance of finding a way to secure victory, even in high-pressure situations.

Despite the loss, Shahidi’s words reflect the resilience and determination of the Afghan cricket team, positioning them as a formidable force in international cricket, especially as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup. The match showcased Afghanistan’s potential and their ability to compete with top cricketing nations on the global stage.

Very disappointed about it. We fought well, we gave our 100 per cent. Proud of the team for the way we played, the way we batted. I think in the last couple of years we played good cricket in the ODI format also. We are still learning a lot. We had a lot of positives in this tournament. We are very near to the World Cup, what we did wrong here we will learn and be better for World Cup. Our crowd is always supporting us. We are thankful to them. We tried our best to give something back to them today, we feel sorry for them he added.