Afghanistan focus on Namibia after Pakistan loss

Abu Dhabi (AFP) – Afghanistan are desperate to bounce back from the narrow defeat against Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup when they face Namibia on Sunday, said fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq.


A blitz from batsman Asif Ali who smashed pace bowler Karim Janat for four sixes in the penultimate over helped Pakistan to a five-wicket win in Dubai on Friday.

"The mood is a bit dull after we lost a close game," Haq told media on Saturday.

"We desperately want to get back in the match against Namibia," said Haq of the Abu Dhabi fixture which will be the first Twenty20 international between the two sides.

Namibia qualified from the first round at the expense of more fancied Ireland and the Netherlands and have beaten Scotland by four wickets in their first Super 12 Group 2 match.

"We are looking forward to the game against Namibia," said Haq, who conceded just two runs in the 18th over, leaving Pakistan to score a tough 24 off the last 12 balls.

Asif smashed Janat's first, third, fifth and sixth ball searing over the boundary to seal Pakistan's third win in as many games.

Haq said the whole team has rallied behind a dispirited Janat.

"It can happen to any bowler," admits Haq who was the best bowler in the Twenty20 blast in England and Wales this year, claiming 26 wickets for Leicestershire.

"He was down but everyone supported him and we all have to get back," said Haq. "If you look he had bowled his first three overs very well."

Haq declared the Group 2 points table was still wide open.

"Table is open other than Pakistan who are almost in the semi-finals," said Haq with Pakistan on top with six points.

Afghanistan are placed second with one win and a defeat.

"Three teams are vying for a semi-final spot and we are a side that can beat any team in the tournament and that we proved last night against Pakistan," said Haq.

"We are up for India and New Zealand," said Haq of their opponents on November 3 and 7 -- both in Abu Dhabi.