World Cup: Naib pledges Afghanistan would learn from Australia drubbing

Australia beat Afghanistan convincingly by seven wickets with 91 balls remaining in Saturday's second game.

Skipper Gulbadin Naib had a decent outing against Australia, scoring 31 off 33 and picking up the wicket of Aaron Finch   -  Getty Images

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib has said that his side would learn from its seven-wicket humbling by Australia on Saturday as it seeks to regroup for the rest of its World Cup campaign.

The rank outsider at the tournament in England and Wales had a terrible start against the defending champion in Bristol, slumping to five for two, with both openers out for nought.

It fought back bravely, with 43 from Rahmat Shah and 51 from Najibullah Zadran, but was still dismissed for 207 with more than 11 overs to spare.

READ| ICC World Cup 2019 Highlights: Australia beats Afghanistan

Australia romped to victory in the 35th over of its innings, with David Warner top-scoring with 89 not out.

Naib said his side did not get the momentum it needed at the start of the innings because it lost early wickets and exclaimed that the team cannot afford to cede the initiative against strong sides.

“Definitely, we can play against these kind of teams, so you should take positive things from them,” he said.

“Obviously, we have a tough match upcoming. Every team, especially for us, is a tough team, so we are just waiting for our turn."

“These kind of teams, they don’t give you a single chance but they are coming really hard. We just look and we just take a positive thing from today.”

Naib welcomed the vocal support for the Afghan team from the crowd, who booed and jeered both Warner and Steve Smith on their return to official international cricket after ball-tampering bans.


David Warner struck an unbeaten 89 to power Australia to a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan.   -  getty images


“Obviously, if you have this kind of audience and they are supporting you and you know they are on your side you take a lot of positive things,” the skipper added.

“So the crowd all support Afghanistan and there was a huge number of Afghans in the crowd there, so it gave a lot of energy on the ground for the boys.”

Naib said the morale of Afghanistan, playing at just its second World Cup, remained intact despite this heavy defeat as it looks forward to its second match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

“We will take some positive thinking,” said Naib.

“We are a good side and we have an opportunity to beat any side in the world so, inshallah (God willing), we will come back strongly.” He added he still hoped that Afghanistan could reach the semifinals, in a tournament in which all 10 teams play each other to determine the last four.

“We are a good side, we have good spinners and a lot of matches are remaining.”

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