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Ikram sets high targets after surpassing Tendulkar record
Afghanistan News

Ikram sets high targets after surpassing Tendulkar record

Ikram Alikhil has promised to work hard on his batting and become Afghanistan's greatest player after he struck a gritty half-century against the West Indies at Headingley Carnegie on Thursday.

The teenager brought up the first fifty of his international career and in the process broke Sachin Tendulkar's record of the highest score by an 18-year-old at a World Cup game, which he achieved back in 1992.

Although Afghanistan succumbed to their ninth consecutive loss in the tournament, Ikram was elated at his personal feat.

"I'm very proud to have broken the record of a legend like Tendulkar. It makes me very happy," he said.

Ikram's valiant knock allowed Afghanistan to come within touching distance of the West Indies total before a middle order collapse condemned them to a 23-run defeat.

"I'm very happy that I scored 86 runs, which was the top score for Afghanistan (at this World Cup)," said Ikram, who was recently a part of Afghanistan Under-19 side in last year's World Cup.

"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 always think of Sangakkara when I'm batting out there'

Ikram, like his teammate Hashmatullah Shahidi, has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara.

Ikram, who models his batting stance on Sangakkara, spoke about how the left-handed batsman has influenced him.

"Kumar Sangakkara is always in mind and my thoughts when I am batting out there," he said.

"His ability to rotate 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."