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'AFGHANISTAN CRICKET IS IMPROVING EVERY DAY' - NABI

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'The plan was to play until 40 overs and we could just concentrate on singles and doubles, and not hitting boundaries' - Mohammad Nabi© Associated Press


After Dawlat Zadran sliced Taskin Ahmed to the third-man boundary to seal Afghanistan's tense win, there were hugs and handshakes in the camp, a far cry from their exuberant celebrations after defeating Bangladesh in 2014 or West Indies at this year's World T20.

"We will try to win the series and then we will celebrate," Man of the Match Mohammad Nabisaid, before breaking into a smile.

Nabi said the win will help people forget Afghanistan's close loss in the first ODI, where they lost by seven runs.

"After we lost the first game, people talked too much: 'why you lost because you were supposed to win the game. In the end you lost the game,' they said. From this win they are going to be really happy," Nabi said.

"The win against a Full Member side means big for Associate Nations. Afghanistan cricket is improving day by day. The win will give more energy to the people and everyone watching in Afghanistan will be happy from that win."

Afghanistan executed their gameplans, and stalled Bangladesh's momentum from the outset. Mohammad Nabi and Mirwais Ashraf were used against Bangladesh's openers, who prefer pace and width to score their runs.

Nabi, who returned figures of 10-3-16-2, credited their coach Lalchand Rajput and captainAsghar Stanikzai, along with an improved fielding performance for the win.

"The plan of the captain and coach was that both left-handed batsmen is coming to open and that I would be bowling from the start. The pitch had moisture.

"We discussed in the meetings that we are going for the win. It worked a lot in the bowling especially the spinners. We just dropped one catch. The boys worked a lot on the planning which helped us win the game," Nabi said.

Afghanistan were in trouble at 63 for 4 in their chase of 209 when Nabi joined Stanikzai. Nabi said the focus wasn't on finding the boundary during their 107-run stand despite the asking rate increasing steadily.

"The pitch condition was not suitable for batting. It was turning and skidding. The plan was to play until 40 overs and we could just concentrate on singles and doubles, and not hitting boundaries. We knew that in the few overs in the middle when we didn't hit any boundary, that's where the partnership was built.

"The experience worked a little, not too much. We didn't finish well. We threw the wickets away under pressure," Nabi said.


Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.



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