Afghanistan Wins Cricket World Cup Qualifying Tournament

Afghanistan Wins Cricket World Cup Qualifying Tournament

Afghanistan Wins Cricket World Cup Qualifying Tournament

AFGHANISTAN continued their giant strides in worldwide cricket by qualifying for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England with a thrilling five-wicket win against Ireland in the final Super Six encounter of qualifiers.

The West Indies, once cricket's acclaimed big boys, narrowly missed the final embarrassment of failing to qualify for the World Cup finals, and that from a group in which there should be little or no competition for a team that ruled the roost up to 25 years or so ago.

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan became the fastest bowler ever to reach 100 ODI wickets as the Windies were bowled out for 204, before opener Shahzad smashed 84 as Afghanistan knocked off the runs with 9.2 overs to spare.

"This victory will give us the required boost to work extremely hard over the next 14 months and like the other nine sides, will arrive in England and Wales firmly believing we can win the World Cup", said Stanikzai.

"It's been a fairytale since they started and they just keep going up and up and I think we deserve to be in the World Cup".

But as we bring down the curtains to a topsy-turvy qualification campaign, here's what we can take away from it.

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This suddenly made Friday's game at the Harare Sports Club a winner-takes-all clash.

"First we qualified for the World Cup, and now we're champions", said Shahzad.

It was left to Stanikzai and Najibullah Zadran (17no) to steer them home as Afghanistan - who needed to win all three Super Six encounters to have any chance - secured a finals berth alongside West Indies, whom they will meet in a largely immaterial tournament decider on Sunday. "We're cognisant of that and pretty much up for it and ready to beat Afghanistan". We have the highest respect for them, but at the same time, we will not be overawed by them and will try to win tomorrow. When we lose, we must lose together.

Afghanistan benefited when tournament host Zimbabwe, the favorite with the West Indies to advance, choked on Thursday when it lost to associate side the United Arab Emirates.

"I feel sorry for Scotland how it ended for them".

WEST INDIES - Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams.

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