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Inexperience cost us the match: Afghan coach

“We have now played India only twice in two years. Had we played five or six times in the intervening period, the result would have improved considerably,” said Kabir after Afghanistan’s 23-run loss.

India, sent in to bat, took advantage of their rivals’ butter-fingered display to recover from a bad start and post 159-5, with Virat Kohli top-scoring with 50 off 38 balls.


Afghanistan’s Shapoor Zadran celebrates the wicket of Virender Sehwag on Wednesday. Pic/AFP

The Afghans raced to a comfortable 75-2 in the 12th over before a late collapse saw the non-Test side bowled out for 136 with three balls to spare.

Mohammad Nabi was the star batsman with an aggressive 31 off 17 balls with two boundaries and as many sixes, while Karim Sadiq made 26 and skipper Nawroz Mangal chipped in with 22.

The Afghans continued to attack till the end, but the loss of regular wickets cost them an unlikely win.

“Today, we dropped four catches and those who dropped them are our top fielders. May be the pressure of playing a top international side, it worked. The more we play the better we would get,” Kabir added.

Afghanistan skipper Mangal said: “We could probably have done better. Our shot selection was poor, and we should have fielded better. But we are satisfied that we could restrict the mighty Indian batting to below 160.”

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