De Villiers’ 29-run over made the difference: Afghanistan’s Shahzad

Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) Following Afghanistan’s 37-run loss to South Africa in a World T20 match, opener Mohammad Shahzad on Sunday said Proteas batsman AB de Villiers’ 29-run over off leg-spinner Rashid Khan made the difference between the two sides.

Batting first, the Proteas posted 209/5 in 20 overs, which included crucial knocks from De Villiers (64 off 29), Quinton de Kock (45) and Faf du Plessis (41). De Villiers hit 29 runs in the 17th over.

In reply, despite Shahzad’s blistering 19-ball 44 at the start, Afghanistan lost wickets at regular intervals and were bundled out for 172 in 20 overs.

“De Villiers 29-run over made the difference at the end. It was a good wicket to bat on. The ball was coming nicely. But the target was a bit more to chase. We lost too many wickets and did not have partnerships,” Shahzad said at the post match press conference here.

After losing to Sri Lanka and South Africa, Afghanistan’s chances to qualify for the semi-finals are all but over. But Shahzad hoped his team will play confidently and go for wins against England and the West Indies.

“Next game we will go and try to beat teams like we tried against Sri Lanka and South Africa. We need to improve our fielding and need to stay in wicket for quite some time,” he said.

The 24-year-old also said that India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is his favourite cricketer. “I like Dhoni a lot. He is my favourite cricketer.”

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