Afghanistan cricket will remember November 25, 2016 for the rest of their lives. One team have ‘boosted’ themselves into the record books in first-class cricket. In fact, the team’s name is Boost Region.
In the ongoing Ahmad Shah Abdali four-day tournament, Afghanistan’s equivalent to India’s Ranji Trophy, a match between Boost Region and Amo Region has entered the record books. The Boost region, captained by Sayed Shirzad, have secured a thumping 602-run win over Amo Region, giving them full 20 points and third position in the points table.
It was an extra-ordinary match at the Kabul International Cricket Ground. Amo Region won the toss and chose to field but they conceded 353 thanks to a fine 108 by Dilawar Khan. In response, Amo were bowled out for 159, with captain Shirzad taking 7/59.
In the second innings, Boost notched up 464/9 declared thanks to a 162 from Rahmat Shah and 170 from Munir Ahmed. Chasing 659 for an improbable win, Amo fared even worse and were bowled out for 56, with Amir Hamza and Abdul Baqi taking four wickets each.
The 602-run victory margin is the fifth biggest in terms of runs in the history of first-class cricket. The highest victory margin in terms of runs is 685, which was achieved by New South Wales against Queensland in the 1929/30 season. It was the match which saw Sir Don Bradman rake his up his highest first-class score of 452.
Afghanistan have provided some memorable moments in international cricket. In 2015, after having qualified for the 50-over World Cup for the first time, they defeated Scotland by one wicket. In the same year, they twice won a bilateral series against Zimbabwe. In the recent series against Bangladesh, they won the second ODI but failed to win the three-match series.