Real Afghanistan need to stand up, says cricket coach
Friday, 20 February 2015 00:23
Afghanistan players celebrate the wicket of Anamul Haque even as he asks for a review, Afghanistan v Bangladesh, World Cup 2015, Group A, Canberra, 18 FebruaryREUTERS: Afghanistan are at the World Cup to compete for victories and simply did not give a true account of themselves in their defeat to Bangladesh on their tournament debut, coach Andy Moles said on Wednesday.
The thumping 105-run loss was a huge disappointment to the Afghans, whose meteoric rise to the top table of international cricket over the last 15 years has been a rare good news story from their war-torn country.
After holding Bangladesh to a respectable 267 all out in their 50 overs at Manuka Oval, they lost their first three wickets for three runs in three overs and were finally bowled out for 162.
â€śThat isnâ€™t a true reflection of how we play, but in any game of cricket when youâ€™re three for three in one and a half overs, not many teams, if any teams come back from that,â€ť Moles told a news conference in Canberra.
â€śThe boys are very proud in their performance, and they know that they havenâ€™t given a fair reflection today.
â€śWeâ€™re in the shop window here, we havenâ€™t disgraced ourselves but we got lost, we just didnâ€™t get out of the blocks tonight with the bat, we were in a fog,â€ť he added.
â€śThey bowled very well and before we knew where we were, we were one-two-three down and just treading water.â€ť
Cricket was still the subject of a Taliban ban in Afghanistan when Bangladesh made their World Cup debut in 1999 but Moles said his team had approached the fixture against one of the 10 test-playing nations with high hopes.
â€śWe genuinely thought this was a game we could have won tonight,â€ť he said. â€śI still believe that if weâ€™d have applied ourselves better, we would have given a better account of ourselves. â€śTake nothing away from Bangladesh, they played very well but we didnâ€™t hit the heights we expect of ourselves.â€ť
Asked whether nerves were responsible for the calamitous folding of the top order, Moles said he would be talking to the batsmen about their mental approach to the match. â€śI really donâ€™t think they were up for the fight from ball one,â€ť he said.
Moles said his players needed to take the defeat â€śon the chinâ€ť and pick themselves up for their next match against Sri Lanka in Dunedin, New Zealand on Sunday.
â€śWeâ€™re honestly here to compete in the games that weâ€™ve got,â€ť the Englishman added. â€śSri Lanka will be a step up but you havenâ€™t seen Afghanistan play yet.â€ť