Afghan army beat British military at cricket

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Law presents cricket pads to RSM Saraj Udin
Image caption Lt Col Tim Law wanted to build on the very good relations they had with the ANA

The Afghan National Army have beaten the British at their own game, after winning a two-day cricket tournament.

The British military side also lost against a team of Afghan interpreters during the series of Twenty20 cricket matches in Helmand Province.

Lt Col Tim Law of the Royal Artillery said the Afghan side turned out to be "absolutely fantastic."

More than 1,500 ANA spectators flooded on to the pitch to congratulate their victorious colleagues.

The British team, selected from across all three branches of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan, were all out for 75 versus the ANA team's score of 165.

Against the team of Afghan interpreters, the British side fared no better scoring 169 for seven while the interpreters managed 183 all out.

On the second day, the two Afghan sides met in a play-off, with the ANA coming out victorious in the final.

The ANA team played in blue-and-red cricket kit presented at the beginning of the match on behalf of the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, which helps with development projects in the region.

The British team played in whites from the Army Cricket Association.

The event was organised by Col Law, of 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, who is serving in Afghanistan in the Task Force Helmand headquarters.

Col Law, who is the vice-chairman of the Army Cricket Association said: "We came to build on the very good relations we have with the ANA, and have a good game.

Great leveller

"We always knew they would be very good, but it turned out that they are absolutely fantastic and taught us a thing or two.

"As sport is a great leveller I hope this game could be the start of a long association with Afghan Army cricket."

British Forces Afghanistan were led by Capt Andy Kerr, from 35 Engineer Regiment.

"Our team was of a very good standard, with the minimum being Army Corps-level standard.

"We have an Irish Premier League player and a couple of really good club-level players," he said.

Col Law presented the cricket equipment to ANA Sgt Maj Saraj Udin.

Sgt Maj Udin said: "The British have supported us on every other aspect so thank you for supporting us in sport."