Afghanistan's superb run to the semi-finals, eventually finishing fourth after the third-place play-off against Pakistan was washed out, suggested their future looks very bright indeed.
Beat Pakistan by 5 wickets
Beat Sri Lanka by 32 runs
Lost to Ireland by 4 runs
Super League quarter-final:
Beat New Zealand by 202 runs
Super League semi-final:
Lost to Australia by 6 wickets
3rd place play-off
Match abandoned due to rain
Positives to take home?
This has been a massive tournament for Afghanistan who have shown the cricketing world that there is a huge amount of talent emerging in the country that will complement the world-class players that they already have in their senior squad. Five players finished with more than 100 runs, suggesting the Afghans will have no trouble putting big scores on the board in the years to come.
The 80 that 17-year-old Ikram Ali Khil made in the semi-final against Australia under huge pressure was particularly impressive, even if the rest of the batting order struggled.
They haven’t been short of wickets either, with Qais Ahmed the joint leading wicket-taker for the tournament with his leg-spin, and Mujeeb Zadran [pictured above] also impressing with his off-breaks. Both have the ability to turn the ball the other way, making them devilishly difficult to face.
Areas for improvement?
The loss to Ireland by just four runs in their final group match and then the defeat in the Super League semi-final to Australia was an example of them coming unstuck in high-pressure situations. But there is no doubt they have the talent to rectify these issues in future.
Going into the event all the talk was about Mujeeb and his brilliant off-spin. At the end of the tournament the man with the most-improved reputation was Qais Ahmed, who claimed 14 wickets at an average of 12.5 with an incredible economy rate of 3.84. His best return was against New Zealand where he returned 4/33.
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