T20 World Cup: Nice to get Super Eight qualification; but we haven't won anything yet, says Trott

Tarouba, June 14 (IANS): Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said it is a nice feeling to qualify for the Super Eight stage in the Men’s T20 World Cup, but at the same time stressed the reality that they “haven’t won anything yet”.

Afghanistan hammered Papua New Guinea by seven wickets for their third consecutive win in Group C which also ensured their first appearance in the knockout stages of the competition. It also meant Afghanistan knocked the 2021 T20 World Cup runners-up New Zealand out of the tournament.

“We still have one game left, an important group game (at St Lucia on Monday), and that's going to be a good gauge of where we are against a powerful West Indies side who won an incredible game last night (against New Zealand) from the position they were in. So, it's nice to have won tonight and got qualification as such.”

“To come to a World Cup and win three is a nice feeling, but also the realisation and reality that we haven't won anything yet. We only achieved the group stage and we've got some important cricket matches coming up which we're going to have to play well in,” said Trott in the post-match press conference.

Left-arm fast-bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi is leading the wicket-taking charts of the tournament through his 12 scalps coming in three matches at an average of 3.50 and an economy of 3.70. His spell of 3-16 played a crucial hand in Afghanistan’s win over Papua New Guinea.

"He's been really good. I think when he gets his line and with the pace and the swing, he's very dangerous. I still think with the amount of talent, I still think he can even bowl better. I still think there's even better bowling in him: he's that talented."

“Working with our bowling coach Hamid Hassan and obviously DJ Bravo for this tournament, we've seen him stand up and have some real match-winning performances or Man of the Match performances.”

“But a lot of other bowlers have bowled well as well. So, I was pleased with how everybody else supported him today. It's not just about one bowler and that's exciting going forward for St. Lucia,” added Trott.

Asked about Bravo’s impact as a bowling consultant for Afghanistan in the T20 World Cup so far, Trott said, Well, DJ is very well respected, but his work ethic is great along with all the other coaches. His knowledge of the game, the amount of T20 cricket he has played, along with the number of teams and the conditions, and obviously having the local knowledge here at ground, how they're going to play is massive.”

“So as somebody I speak to about, I've obviously played against him and getting to spend a bit of time with him now is great and it's really good to have him on our side. He works not only with the bowlers but works with the batters as well. But he was a very good all-rounder, wasn't he? So, lots of experience to draw from and pleased we've secured his services.”

For the first time in this tournament, Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran fell without sharing a 100-run stand. It meant other batters were tested and all-rounder Gulbadin Naib stood up to smash an unbeaten 49 off 36. He also got good help from Azmatullah Omarzai (13) and Mohammad Nabi (16 not out) in chasing down 96 in 15.1 overs

"The openers have played really well, but also, today is a good reminder of just how fickle cricket can be when you just relax a little bit or take - not as focused or doing the basics as much as the pitch or the conditions deserve."

"So, I'm happy in a way that they've got some time in the middle and then Gulbadin and Nabi and Azmat will take that confidence going into the next few games. So, it's a sort of catch-22 if you like. You want everybody to be informed going into the later parts of the trip, but you also want everybody to get runs at the same time," concluded Trott.



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Title: T20 World Cup: Nice to get Super Eight qualification; but we haven't won anything yet, says Trott

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