Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Ikram Ali played a sensational 92-ball 86 run knock against West Indies in what was Afghanistan’s last World Cup match on Thursday.
With the knock, Ikram Ali broke 27-year old Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the highest score by an 18-year old at an ICC World Cup where the Little Master once broke the mould in 1992. Ikram Ali broke Sachin Tendulkar’s 84 which came 27 years ago.
Having promoted him at number three, Ikram reposed faith given to him by the selectors, playing a fine 92 run knock, including as many as eight boundaries. Chasing a daunting 311 run total, Afghanistan showed a spirited performance with the bat with Rahmat Shah and Ikram Ali Khan scoring respective half-centuries.
Ikram Ali produced the best score by any Afghanistan batsman in the World Cup, however, the team lost the match by 23 runs.
“I’m very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy,” Ikram was quoted as saying by the ICC.
Ikram Ali views Sri Lanka’s former captain Kumar Sangakkara as his role model.
“Kumar Sangakkara is always on mind and my thoughts when I am batting out there,” he said.
“His ability to rotate the strike and find a boundary when needed that is what made him a world class batsman. That is what I try to copy as much as I can.”
“I’m very happy that I scored 86 runs, which was the top score for Afghanistan,” said Ikram.
“No one had crossed that mark in the nine games but I’m disappointed at the same time because I thought I could score a hundred. Hopefully, in the games ahead, I will score a hundred for Afghanistan.”
“I want to work very hard at my game and become the best-ever player produced by Afghanistan. I’m very happy with the experience I have got at this World Cup, both playing with my team-mates and the opposition as well — the likes of the West Indian players, Australians, Indians, Pakistanis, they have all helped me and guided me.”
Afghanistan ended their World Cup Campaign on Thursday. Afghanistan lost all nine matches they have played in the tournament.