T20 World Cup: What we take from the competition is 'belief', says Afghan skipper Rashid after SF loss

by IANS |

T20 World Cup: What we take from the competition is 'belief', says Afghan skipper Rashid after SF loss Tarouba (Trinidad), June 27 (IANS) After Afghanistan's fairytale campaign in the T20 World Cup ended with a semifinal loss to South Africa on Thursday, skipper Rashid Khan expressed that the main takeaway for his team from the tournament is a "belief" and the "confidence to beat any side". Afghanistan's journey to the semifinals has been nothing short of extraordinary. From a team once considered underdogs, triumphed over top-ranked teams, including New Zealand and multiple-time world champions Australia. The Asian side defeated Bangaldesh in the a dramatic fashion in the Super 8 match on Tuesday to make it to their maiden semfinal of the Men's T20 World Cup. But, Afghanistan's dreamy run ended in the semifinal after loss to South Africa. After opting to bat first, Afghanistan were bowled out for 56 in 11.5 over. Inresponse, South Africa chased downt he target wihtin 9 overs to seal their berth in the final, their first in any ICC Men's World Cup. Speaking after the match, Rashid said "It was tough, tough for us as a team. We might have done better but the conditions didn't allow us to do what we wanted. That's how T20 cricket is, you need to be ready for all conditions. I think they bowled really well. I think we got good success in this tournament because the seamers bowled really well, you need good starts." The Afghan skipper admitted that the team greatly missed Mujeeb Ur Rahman, but he praised the performances of Mohammad Nabi and Fazalhaq Farooqi. "I think we were unlucky with Mujeeb's injury, but our seamers and even Nabi bowled brilliantly with the new ball. That made our job easier as spinners. We have enjoyed this tournament." Rashid added that his team "accepted playing a semifinal and losing to a top side like South Africa" and they will return with a renewed focus on hard work, particularly in the batting department. "We will accept playing a semifinal and losing to a top side like Africa. It is just the beginning for us, we have the confidence and belief to beat any side. We just need to keep our processes. This has been a great learning experience for us. What we take from the competition is the belief," Rashid said. "We know we have the skills, it is just about managing tough situations, pressure situations. Some work to be done, specially in the middle order to take the innings deep. As I said, it is always learning for our team and we have achieved good results so far but we will come back doing more hard work, specially in the batting department," he concluded. --IANS bc/

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