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Afghan Cricketer Breaks Scoring Record

Afghanistan's Noor Ali Zadran playing against Zimbabwe. (file photo)
Afghanistan's Noor Ali Zadran playing against Zimbabwe. (file photo)

Afghan batsman Noor Ali Zadran has broken a national record by scoring 229 at a regional cricket tournament watched by thousands in defiance of the ongoing violence in Afghanistan's volatile eastern regions.

Zadran's performance in the first innings led his team, Miseainak, to win the first match of the Alokozay Regional Four-Day Tournament on August 30 in the southeastern Khost Province.

Zadran, a 27-year-old member of a national team, was the first Afghan cricketer to score 50 or a "half-century" against India's team in the 2010 World Cup.

Five teams that include leading Afghan cricket players are taking part in the tournament being held in Khost and neighboring Nangarhar Province.

Cricket is the most popular sport in Afghanistan.

Afghan media reported that more than 20,000 people gathered in Khost's Amir Mangal Stadium to watch a final cricket game earlier this month, defying the threat of suicide attacks that have intensified across the country in recent months.

Many national team members say they learned cricket as children in Pakistan, which sheltered millions of Afghan refugees fleeing decades of war in their country.

In the 2015 World Cup, Afghanistan finished sixth in Group A, with its only win coming against Scotland.