Cricket: Shahzad's hundred lifts Afghanistan to 252-8

Dubai (AFP) –


Burly opener Mohammad Shahzad knocked a fighting hundred to lift Afghanistan to 252-8 in their Super Four game Asia Cup match against India in Dubai on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old smashed seven sixes and 11 fours in his 116-ball 124 -- his fifth one-day century but first against a top nation -- to help Afghanistan post a challenging total after they won the toss and batted at Dubai stadium.

With India already in Friday's final and Afghanistan out of contention, Shahzad's knock spiced up the inconsequential match.

So dominant was Shahzad that fellow opener Javed Ahmadi was only five in a stand of 65, before India struck four times within the space of 17 runs.

Left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja (3-46) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-38) derailed the innings but Shahzad held one end, adding 50 for the fifth wicket with Gulbadin Naib who made 15 and another 48 for the sixth with Mohammad Nabi.

Nabi made a fiery 56-ball 64 with four sixes and three boundaries.

Shahzad was finally out in the 38th over but by then had given a good platform to his team.

Pakistan and Bangladesh play the last Super Four game in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to decide who meet India in the final.