Sports – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Sat, 17 Nov 2018 15:18:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shapoor Zadran Allowed to Return for National Team After Five Months Ban Tue, 13 Nov 2018 14:44:23 +0000

The disciplinary committee of Afghanistan Cricket Board has lifted the ban imposed on Shapoor Zadran, allowing the fast bowler to return to the national team after more than five months.

 31-year-old Zadran was banned from playing in the team after breaching disciplinary rules against the coach and the captain in a training camp outside the country on May 29, ACB said in a statement.

“His actions had been reported by the couch in written format to the cricket board leadership. Apart from cash fine, Zadran had been warned that he could not play for the national team anymore if he repeats such acts,” the statement said.

Shapoor has played 43 one-day international and 34 T20 matches so far Afghanistan. The last international match he played was in on June 5 against Bangladesh.

Hazratullah Zazai Equals Fastest T20 Half Century Record in APL Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:11:28 +0000

Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai hit six sixes in an over on his way to equaling fastest ever half-century record in Twenty20 cricket.

The Afghan opener reached 50 in 12 balls for Kabul Zwanan against Balkh Legends in the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

That levelled the record held by Yuvraj Singh, who also hit six sixes in that innings for India against England in the World T20 in 2007, and Chris Gayle at Australia’s Big Bash League in 2016.

Earlier, the West Indian opener had made 80 from 48 balls. At one point, he had looked set for six sixes himself off Colin Ingram, but in the end that over went for 32.

The left-handed batsmen Zazai scored 62 off 17 balls before caught out on the boundary. He had already become the first player in the tournament to score a century.

The six successive sixes were hit off Abdullah Mazari, a left-arm spin bowler whose first over in the APL went for 37 as he also sent a wide.

With inputs from The National Sport

Afghan Woman Elected As OIC Member Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:53:12 +0000 The International Olympic Committee has elected nine new members, including 24-year-old Samira Asghari, an Afghanistan women’s national basketball team player.

Asghari is the first Afghan to become a member of the committee.

She had been nominated by the committee in July this year with its president saying that the nomination sent a message.

“She’s a young woman of Afghanistan who is very active in promoting the right to play sport for women in Afghanistan, you all know it’s not an easy task,” Thomas Bach, the OIC president, had said.

“With this nomination, we wanted to send a signal not only to men and women in Afghanistan but also in all these countries where women are facing serious obstacles to do sport,” he had said.

Two more women among the newcomers are Daina Gudzineviciute of Lithuania, a shooting gold medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and former nurse Felicite Rwemarika of Rwanda.

Six men elected by fellow IOC members are Camilo Perez (Paraguay), Giovanni Malago (Italy), William Blick (Uganda), Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck (Bhutan), Morinari Watanabe (Japan) and Andrew Parsons (Brazil).

IOC members voted bobsled federation president Ivo Ferriani of Italy to their executive board representing winter sports.

Rashid Khan Seals Top Spot in ODI All-Rounders’ Rankings Sun, 30 Sep 2018 12:52:09 +0000

After his impressive performance at the Asia Cup 2018, spin sensation Rashid Khan has become the No. 1-ranked all-rounder in Ond-Day Internationals (ODI).

Rashid was sensational with the ball, and did well with the bat in the Asia Cup. He topped the bowling charts, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, and also scored 87 runs at an average of 43.50.

Afghanistan were outstanding, beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stage and then losing to Pakistan and Bangladesh in last-over finishes in the Super Fours before tying their game against India.

For his efforts in Dubai and Sharjah, Khan has gained six slots and earned 67 points, which put him on top of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI All-Rounder Rankings, toppling Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan. Rashid’s teammate Mohammad Nabi also gained one slot to reach the third position after aggregating 134 runs and taking five wickets.

In the bowlers’ list, Rashid has retained his No.2 spot, while 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has moved up 15 places to take the eighth place after finishing with seven wickets in the Asia Cup. Nabi, meanwhile has gained two slots to reach the 15th position.

Nabi has also risen in the batting rankings, up to No.53rd after gaining 13 points, while Khan is up by 21 slots and is now sitting in the 97th position. Afghanistan’s most impressive batsmen in the tournament, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mohammad Shahzad, also made significant gains in the rankings.

Shahidi, who totalled 263 runs from five innings, moved up 64 spots to joint 91st with New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham, while Shahzad beefed up his tally with a blazing 124 in the game against India, and moved up 19 places to No.36, joint with Scotland’s Calum MacLeod and Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella.

The other man to stand out in the batting rankings was Liton Das, the Bangladesh opener who smashed 121 in the final. He rose a remarkable 107 spots to a career-best No.116.

Among the other high performers from the tournament to gain were Rohit Sharma (up two spots to No.2), Shikhar Dhawan (up by four to No.5), Mushfiqur Rahim (up six to No.16), Imam-ul-Haq (up 15 to No.27), Shoaib Malik (up 12 to No.42) and Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath, who moved up 15 places and finished at 55th position. Nizakat Khan, Rath’s opening partner, also jumped 28 places and reached the 78th spot. 

Ariana TV Gets Exclusive Broadcast Rights for Afghanistan Premier League Sun, 23 Sep 2018 14:24:51 +0000

Ariana Television Network (ATN) has acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the first season of Afghanistan Premier League (APL) in the country.

Appreciating the willingness of ATN management, the CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board Shafiqullah Stanikzai said in a statement: “We are pleased with the agreement with ATN for the broadcast rights of APL in Afghanistan. ATN covers the whole of Afghanistan on normal TV antennas and this is important because we want to give APL far and wide coverage both in Afghanistan and other territories.”

“We would like to request all other broadcasters in Afghanistan to respect broadcast rights and refrain from illegal broadcast of the league,” Stanikzai added.

Thanking the efforts of the Afghanistan Cricket Board for launching Afghanistan Premier League, Habib Durrani, the Chief Operations Director of ATN said: “Afghanistan has a very diverse and proud sporting tradition—especially in cricket and football—and we at ATN are so honored to be Afghanistan’s exclusive broadcaster of Afghanistan Premiere League 2018.”

“ATN and The Bayat Group welcome every opportunity to showcase Afghan sports and to be champions of our nation’s sporting heroes,” Durrani added.

The inaugural season of Afghanistan Premier League is scheduled to take place from 5th until 21st October 2018 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.

 ATN is one of the leading TV channels in Afghanistan and has terrestrial coverage all over the country. It has previously acquired exclusive broadcast rights in Afghanistan for high-profile international sporting event including the recent FIFA World Cup.

Asia Cup 2018: Rashid Khan Stars in Afghanistan’s 136-run Win over Bangladesh Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:58:05 +0000

Rashid Khan’s quick fire 57* complemented by a collective effort from the bowlers saw Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by 136 runs on Thursday.

The birthday boy Khan shared 95 runs partnership with Gulbadin Naib for the unconquered eighth wicket as Afghanistan made a stunning fight back to post 255 for seven in their second Asia Cup match.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan struggled initially against Bangladesh bowling attack led by left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, who grabbed four wickets for 42 runs, but Rashid (57 not out) and Gulbadin (42 not out) turned the tables in the final 10 overs. They came together in the 41st over at 160 for 7. 

Bangladesh, in reply, lost early wickets despite Shakib’s 32. Bangladesh were 79-5 in 24 overs. Mosaddek Hossain was unbeaten on 26 off 60 balls – a consolation innings in an inconsequential match – as Bangladesh folded for 119 in 42.1 overs.

Rashid Khan was named man of the match for his all round performance with bat (57*) and ball (2/13).

On Friday, Afghanistan will take on Pakistan in their first match of the super four stage of the tournament, while Bangladesh will play against India.

Afghanistan Reveal Squad for Asia Cup in UAE Sun, 02 Sep 2018 13:01:27 +0000

The Selection Committee of Afghanistan Cricket Board on Sunday announced a 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup which will begin from September 15.

Commenting on the squad composition, Chief Selector Nawroz Mangal said that young wicket-keeper batsman Munir Ahmad has been included in the squad after his impressive performance in domestic cricket including Ghazi Amanullah Khan One-Day Cup.

 “We added Munir as a wicket-keeper batsman because he performed well in other national teams including U19 team, emerging and Afghanistan A team,” he said as cited in a statement released by ACB.

Noticeable changes from the squad against Ireland in the recent ODI series include the recall of bowling all-rounder Sharafuddin Ashraf to the squad and exclusion of opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai.

Mangal showed confidence that the team would continue to perform well beyond the Asia Cup and in the lead up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World.

Responding to a question about fast bowler Dawlat Zadran, Mangal said, “The health reports we have received about Dawlat Zadran indicate that he has still not fully recovered and he would continue to undergo treatment over the next few weeks. Therefore, he has not been included in the squad.”

 “Selection of the squad was not an easy task as we witnessed commendable performances from players in different national team setups including Under-19, A and Emerging teams that recently played several matches against each other,” said Abdul Wali Amin, a member of the ACB Selection Committee.

Asia Cup will be played from 15th – 28th September in UAE.  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from Group B while Pakistan and India will be joined by third team that will be decided after the Asia Cup Qualifiers. It will be Afghanistan’s first Asia Cup after obtaining Full Member status of the International Cricket Council in June 2017.


Asghar Afghan (C), Mohammad Shahzad (WK) , Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Munir Ahmad, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Sayed Shirzad and Wafadar.

Afghanistan Beat Ireland in 3rd ODI to Clinch Series Fri, 31 Aug 2018 14:52:59 +0000

Afghanistan won the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series 2-1 against Ireland, beating the host by eight wickets in final match on Friday.

Opting to bat first the Ireland batsmen were struggled to build partnership, lost their wickets at short space of time.

The Afghan bowlers specially spinners proved once again tough for Irish batsmen to handle as Ireland lost their all wickets inside 37 overs to make a low total of 124 runs for the visitors to chase it down.

Rashid Khan took three wickets for 18 in his 8 over-spell while Mohammad Nabi and Gulbuddin Naib took two wickets each.  

In reply, Afghanistan managed to reach to the target inside 24 overs after losing their two wickets.

Opener Ihsanullah and Hashmatullah Shahidi were the top scorers of the match, making 57 and 34 runs each respectively.

Before the final ODI, Ireland were able to win the second ODI in a low-scoring contest to level the series 1-1.  

Afghanistan Includes Hazratullah Zazai in ODI Squad against Ireland Fri, 24 Aug 2018 09:12:00 +0000

Afghanistan has included left-handed batsman Hazratullah Zazai in the squad for three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), following his brilliant display of batting in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland.

 Hazratullah Zazai was only part of the visitors’ T20I squad but has been included in the ODIs after his impressive performance in the first two T20I against host Ireland.

According to an online statement released by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), the 20-year-old Zazai’s inclusion was recommended by the Head Coach and Selection Committee and approved by ACB Chairman Atif Mashal.

Zazai’s quick-fire 74 off just 33 balls in the first match, followed by 82 off 54 balls in the second match have granted Afghanistan the three-match T20I series (2-0) with final match to be played on Friday.

Before the current series, Hazratullah Zazai has played just one game for Afghanistan’s national team and it was a T20I match against UAE back in 2016 when only managed to score 18 off 24 balls.

T20I Squad:

Mohammad Shahzad Mohammadi, Usman Ghani, Hazratullah Zazai, Samiullah Shenwari, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Najib Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam, and Farid Malik.

ODI Squad:

Mohammad Shahzad, Javid Ahmadi, Ehsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najeeb Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Aftab Alam, Syed Ahmad Shirzad, Dawlat Zadran, Wafadar Momand and Hazratullah Zazai.

Palestine Football Team Arrives in Kabul For Friendly Match Fri, 17 Aug 2018 10:48:12 +0000

The National football team of Palestine arrived in Kabul on Friday for a friendly match against host Afghanistan.

The match will be held in Afghanistan Football Federation’s stadium in Kabul on August 19 on the occasion of the Independence Day of Afghanistan.

In addition, the Afghan national team players who were playing in European leagues have also been arrived in Kabul for this highly anticipated friendly football match against Palestine amid growing security concerns in the city.

The players have also held their first training session in Kabul ahead of the match.

Following the match, the  Afghanistan national football team is expected to play against host Myanmar on October 9.

ICC Approves Plans for Afghanistan Premier League Sun, 12 Aug 2018 13:33:31 +0000

The Afghanistan Cricket Board’s (ACB) plans for the staging of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) received a significant boost earlier this week as the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave its stamp of approval for the tournament.

According to a release on the ACB website, ICC’s approval enabled “member boards to issue No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to players associated with the respective boards”.

The APL will begin as a five-team tournament and will be played between 5 and 21 October at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.

The league will be made up of teams from Kabul, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Balkh, and Paktia.

The bidding process for the ownership of the franchises is ongoing, and it is expected to be concluded later this month.

The tournament is different from the Shpageeza League, which is a 12-day tournament played in Afghanistan between six teams.

The APL marks the latest step in Afghanistan’s increasing presence in world cricket. Afghanistan were given ICC Full Member status in 2017, and in June they played their first ever Test, in Bengaluru against India.

Afghanistan to Host Palestine for Friendly Football Match Sat, 11 Aug 2018 14:16:27 +0000

A friendly match between Afghanistan and Palestine national football teams would be held in Kabul on August 19 on the occasion of the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the Football Federation has said.

 The match is expected to be held in Afghanistan Football Federation’s stadium in Kabul.

 “All the works have been done in preparation to this match,” said Mustafa Mehrzad, Manager of Afghan national football team. “Months earlier, we have taken steps to invite the players and a lot of players expressed readiness for the match and were happy to play in front of their countrymen.”

 The Afghanistan Football Federation Spokesman Sayed Ali Kazemi, meanwhile said that an Iranian referee Hassan Akrami along with three Afghan assistance referees is expected to officiate the match.

This comes as Kabul has so far hosted Pakistan’s national football team in a friendly match in 2013 which ended 3-0 in favor of Afghanistan. 

Rashid Khan Launches Charity to Help Afghan Orphans Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:12:41 +0000

Afghanistan’s cricket superstar Rashid Khan has announced establishing a charity organization as a move to help orphan children and poor people in the country.

The charity organization named “Rashid Khan Foundation” would help Afghan orphans to get education and health facilitates, Rashid Khan said on his Facebook page.

“Respected Afghans, with your prayers, I was able to take another good step for my beloved country and nation. I made ‘The Rashid Khan Foundation’,” Rashid said, adding that it was the time to help his countrymen.

He said orphan children would be provided the opportunity to get education and then the organization would work to provide clean drinking water, health facilities and other humanitarian assistance.

This comes as the 19-year-old spin sensation is currently playing in Vitality Blast – the English domestic T20 tournament, as part of the Sussex franchise team  before joining the squads for Afghanistan’s three-T20I and three-ODI series against Ireland, starting from 20th August to 31st August.

Team Afghanistan Leaves for England Ahead of T20I, ODI Series against Ireland Sat, 28 Jul 2018 13:11:26 +0000

The Afghan national cricket team on Saturday left for England to participate in a training camp ahead of T20I and ODI series against Ireland.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday in an online statement said that the Afghan national team will play three T20I and three ODI against Ireland, starting from 20th August to 31st August.

According to the statement, the team will travel to Ireland on 17th August after the completion of the training camp.

This comes days after the ACB announced the squads for the T20I and ODI series against Ireland.

Squad for T20Is:

Mohammad Shahzad Mohammadi, Usman Ghani, Hazratullah Zazai, Samiullah Shenwari, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Najib Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam, and Farid Malik.

Squad for ODIs:

 Mohammad Shahzad, Javid Ahmadi, Ehsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najeeb Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Zadran, Aftab Alam, Syed Ahmad Shirzad, Dawlat Zadran, and Wafadar Momand.

Afghan Athlete Bags Gold Medal at Korea Open Int’l Taekwondo Championships Tue, 24 Jul 2018 13:51:04 +0000

Afghan athlete Nesar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai has clinched a gold medal at the 2018 Jeju Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships.

On Tuesday, in the last day of the tournament in Jeju Island of South Korea, Rahimzai managed to overcome competitors from the United States, Taiwan, and China in the 78-kilogram weight class to grab the gold medal in the tournament.

The Afghan taekwondo team which consisted of six athletes have earned two gold and two bronze medals in the tournament so far.

The 2018 Korea Open International Taekwondo Championships attracted Taekwondo competitors from all around the world.  The tournament began on July 18 and will end on July 24.

Construction Work of Balkh Cricket Stadium Kicks off Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:07:41 +0000

The construction work of Balkh cricket stadium was officially inaugurated on Tuesday with financial assistance from the government of India.

The stadium will be built on 14 acres of land with a cost of 1 million USD in the provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif City.

At the Inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, the Indian Ambassador to Kabul,  Vinay Kumar said that his country would increase its support on various sections to Afghanistan.  

The Provincial governor Mohammad Ishaq Rahguzar, meanwhile, assured of providing better facilities to Afghan athletes in Balkh, saying that he encourages the Afghan athletes to actively participate the sporting competitions.

The Balkh cricket stadium would be the second largest cricket stadium in Afghanistan after Kandahar cricket ground which is being built by the Indian government.

Afghanistan Beat Bangladesh in T20I Series Opener Mon, 04 Jun 2018 10:29:26 +0000

Afghanistan began their historic tour of India with a dominant performance against Bangladesh, thrashing them by 45 runs in the first T20I in Dehradun.

Courtesy of Rashid Khan who was named the player of the match for his 3/13, Afghanistan comfortably defended 167. But Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi were the perfect foils, as the trio combined for 6/54 from 11 overs as Bangladesh spluttered to 122 all out.

With the bat, openers Mohammad Shahzad and Usman Ghani provided the platform for the others to play around them. Ghani scored 26 while Shahzad’s 40 from 37 balls was the highest score of the match.

Captain Asghar Stanikzai scored 24 while Samiullah Shenwari played the innings of the match, striking an 18-ball 36 to see Afghanistan to a very competitive total on a sluggish pitch.

Bangladesh’s response never recovered from the setback of losing Tamim Iqbal so early, and despite useful knocks from Mahmudullah (29) and Mushifqur Rahim (20), they were unable to observe pressure in middle overs against the turning ball.

The second match between both sides will be played at the same venue on Tuesday 5 June.

Afghanistan Gear Up for Bangladesh T20I Series Sat, 02 Jun 2018 11:22:13 +0000

Afghanistan is set to play three-match T20I series with Bangladesh, starting from June 3 (Sunday) at Dehradun, India.

The home side will play the matches on 3rd, 5th and 7th of June at Dehradun’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, followed by one-off Test match against India in Bengaluru on June 14. 

Previously, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced a 16-man squad for the series including Asghar Stanikzai (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Najeebullah Tarakai, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Darwish Rasooli, Mohammad Nabi , Gulbadin Naib, Karim Jannat, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran,  and Aftab Alam.

On Friday, both sides played a practice match ahead of the series which was ended in favor of the home side.

Bangladesh batted first and set a target of 146 runs for Afghanistan A to chase in 20 overs. Afghanistan A chased down the target in the 17.2 overs. Opener Hazratullah Zazai scored unbeaten 69 runs while Mohammad Nabi and Shafiqulah Shafaq remained not on 32 and 28 runs respectively.

So far Afghanistan have played only on T20I against Bangladesh.  It was back in 2014 in a group stage match of ICC World T20 which Bangladesh won the match by 9 wickets.

Afghanistan Announce Squads for T20I Bangladesh Series, India Test Tue, 29 May 2018 10:44:07 +0000

The Afghanistan Cricket Board on Tuesday announced a 16-man squad for the upcoming T20I series against Bangladesh in Dehradun and the inaugural one-off Test match against India in Bengaluru.

Afghanistan will play three T20I against Bangladesh on 3rd, 5th and 7th of June at Dehradun’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, followed by one-off Test match against India in Bengaluru on June 14. 

Chief Selector Nawroz Mangal who recently returned from India after observing players in selection matches said that the reason for the delayed announcement of the squad was to receive final medical reports on some players.

According to ACB statement, opening batsman Najib Tarakai has been recalled to the T20I squad nearly 15 months after he last played for Afghanistan against Ireland in March 2017.

Meanwhile, Darwish Rasooli who performed consistently in the recently concluded First Class Tournament has sealed a spot in the T20I squad. He was an instrumental part of Afghanistan U19 team in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup early this year in New Zealand.

In addition, 18-year old pacer Wafadar Momand along with Syed Sherzad and Yamin Ahmadzai will form the side’s fast bowling attack against India Test match at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Wicket-keeping batsman Afsar Zazai has also been included in the Test squad in addition to Mohammad Shahzad. Left-arm off-spinner Hamza Hotak who was the leading wicket-taker in the domestic First Class Tournament will be one of the four spinners in the squad.

Squad for T20Is against Bangladesh:

Asghar Stanikzai (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Najeebullah Tarakai, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Darwish Rasooli, Mohammad Nabi , Gulbadin Naib, Karim Jannat, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran, Aftab Alam

Squad for the One-off Test against India:

Asghar Stanikzai (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Jannat, Rahmat Shah, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Hamza Hotak, Syed Ahmad Sherzad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar Momand, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman

The Day When Everything Went Right for Rashid Khan Sat, 26 May 2018 09:17:05 +0000

A cameo of 34* off 10 balls, figures of 4-0-19-3, two catches and a run-out to put your team in the final of a keenly contested tournament is as close as it gets to perfect. And Rashid Khan did just that on Friday 25 May in the Indian Premier League.

It was an effort that elicited praise from the best. Sachin Tendulkar tweeted. “Always felt [Rashid Khan] was a good spinner, but now I wouldn’t hesitate in saying he is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you, he’s got some batting skills as well. Great guy.”

Coming in when Sunrisers Hyderabad were 134/6 with 13 balls left in their Qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, Khan first got to show off his boundary-hitting skills.

Several of Afghanistan’s opponents have experienced the power of his bat, and he’s even opened the innings for his national side. On Friday, from No.8, he struck two fours and four sixes to lift his side to a competitive 174/7.

Then came the first of three special moments on the field. Running in from the deep, his throw to the wicket-keeper caught Nitish Rana short. That wrested the momentum from Kolkata at a time when they were cruising at 87/1 in the ninth over. Later in Carlos Brathwaite’s final over, he took two nerveless catches just inside the ropes.

Of course, the No.1 bowler on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings was on point with the ball, going at just 4.75. His three wickets included the big ones of Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell, who fell into a trap set by Rashid and captain Kane Williamson.

“Feeling pleased and proud had a brilliant performance in a very important and in a thrilling show of cricket,My goal is to beat my last performance and i really appreciate my fans for their unconditional love and support that always make us to give them more jubilations! #IPL,” he tweeted.

 “In modern cricket, you’ve to contribute in all three departments,” said Khan, after the match.

He said he simply followed the advice of his Afghanistan senior, Mohammad Nabi, to play straight. “I have big-hitting skills, and I’ve put in hard work. I believed in my skills.

“Fielding is a department where there are no excuses. You have to keep yourself fit and perform. Bowling and batting can be matters of fate, but fielding is in my hands and I try to do my best.”

” As a leg spinner I love seeing all the different types of leg spinners playing in the IPL but watching @rashidkhan_19 bowl in these big games makes me proud as he loves this stage & pressure it also gets me excited,” Shane Warne ,the Australian spin veteran tweeted.

As for bowling, Rashid said, “There was something for the spinners. I just needed that little bit of turn. That makes it difficult.”

Khan dedicated his performance to the victims and families of those who lost their lives in a blast at a cricket match in Afghanistan last week.