Not disappointed with loss to Sri Lanka: Afghan coach Inzamam

Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) Afghanistan batting coach Inzamam-ul Haq feels that his side played well even though it was beaten by Sri Lanka in a World Twenty20 cricket encounter at the Eden Gardens and said he was not at all disappointed with the six-wicket loss.

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On Thursday, batting first on a flat wicket, Afghanistan managed to get 153/7 on the scoreboard. They bowled well, too, picking up four wickets but seasoned campaigner Tillakaratne Dilshan carried his bat through with a brilliant knock of 83 to get the islanders across the line.

“The boys played a great game today. We did not give up till the very end. Proud of what they did. But then they had Dilshan who is a seasoned campaigner. We thought we could win but he took the game away from us. But we are not disappointed. We did what we could,” Inzamam, a former Pakistan captain, said at the post-match media conference.

There were three catches that were grassed and also few misfieldings which hurt Afghanistan later in the game.

Speaking about the missed opportunities, Inzamam said: ”There were huge lapses in the field today. Saving them would have got Sri Lanka under pressure. An area we need to improve.”

The coach was full of praise for his captain Asghar Stanikzai, who played a great knock of 62 off 47 balls, with the help of four sixes and three fours.

“The way Asghar played today was amazing. Good thing is we are improving with time. But then, Asghar was not the only contributor. Each player did his bit and that helped us reach 150,” Inzamam, one of the batting greats in the world, reckoned.

The 46-year-old also felt that Afghanistan were 15-20 runs short and that 170 would have been a more challenging title for the defending champions.

“A score of 150 just was not enough on this surface. If we would have got to 170, it could have been different. We fell 15 to 20 runs short. The problem was that my boys were inexperienced and they were playing against the defending champions,” he observed.

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