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Inzamam rues Afghanistan’s shoddy fielding in spirited defeat

Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq waves to the crowd as he leaves the field after playing the last test of his career on the fifth day of their second test cricket match against South Africa at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore October 12, 2007. Ul-Haq, 37, played his 120th and final test. REUTERS/Zahid Hussein (PAKISTAN)

Kolkata: Afghanistan team coach Inzamam-ul-Haq believes that his side lacked international experience in dealing with crunch situations and cited poor fielding display as one of the reasons behind his side’s spirited defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 group stage match.

Afghanistan produced gutsy performance with both bat and ball before suffering a six-wicket loss to defending champions Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.

Afghanistan recovered well enough from a shaky start to make 153 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs, and then bowled with skill and intelligence to claw back into the match after Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal’s strong opening stand.

However, a careless fielding approach from the Afghans proved too costly towards the end as Sri Lanka won the match with seven balls to spare.

“Our team needed experience. We were playing against the World champions. I think the boys played well, gave them a tough time and could have even won, but Sri Lanka are the defending champions, an experienced side and they handled pressure the way they should’ve,” said Inzamam in a post-match press conference.

“There were fielding lapses. Three to four boundaries were given at crucial junctures. Maybe if we could’ve saved those, we could have put pressure. But then it is a big tournament and with it, comes bigger challenges,” added the former Pakistan skipper.

Afghanistan will next play against South Africa at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. (ANI)