Karachi: An Afghanistan youth academy side stunned a heavyweight side, comprising international Pakistani players, by 61 runs to walk away with the Ramazan festival T20 tournament title.
The Afghan team featuring several players of the national team comfortably beat the AO Blues, including international players such as Rana Naved, Imran Nazir and Rizwan Ahmed, last night amidst great jubilation by their supporters at the overflowing Asghar Ali Shah stadium.
The atmosphere at the stadium was electric as a crowd of 20,000 packed the stadium while thousands waited outside to get in and resorted to heavy aerial firing.
As soon as the last wicket fell, the Afghani people at the stadium rushed onto the ground with their national flags waving and firing in jubilation as they picked up the players in celebration.
Asghar Stanikzai and Hamid Hasan two rising young stars of the Afghan national team played a stellar role in the victory with the former scoring 43 runs and Hasan taking three wickets.
"We were shocked at the support we had in this tournament and for the final there was no way we were going to let our people down," Hasan said.
The allrounder said that the way the Afghanis living in Karachi had turned out for the tournament showed just how much interest the Afghani people had in cricket.
"I think this final is proof enough that Afghanistan cricket needs to be given respect by other cricket playing nations and they should give us more matches," Stanikzai said.