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    Afghans win ACC Twnety20 Cup opener

    KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan thrashed Malaysia by 53 runs in the ACC Twenty20 Cricket Cup opener played in Nepal on Saturday, an official said.

    Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat in the inaugural match, the national team manager, Shafiq Stanikzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News from Nepal over the telephone.

    The national side managed to pile up 166 runs in the stipulated overs for the loss of four wickets. Shabir Noori top-scored with 53, Karim Sadiq contributed 39, Asghar Stanikzai 24, Mohammad Shahzad 20 and Nawroz Mangal 12.

    Stanikzai said the Malaysians could not cope with fierce bowling from Mohammad Nabi, who got three wickets.  Samiullah Shinwari and Hameed Hassan clinched two wickets each. Noori was declared the Man of the Match.

    Afghanistan are placed in Group-A along with Oman, Malaysia, Bhutan and the Maldives, while Group-B consist of Nepal, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

    The tournament forms part of the qualifying process for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 to be held in Sri Lanka. The top three teams from the competition will join the top six Associate and Affiliate teams with ODI status in the 16-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE in early 2012.

    Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Scotland have already qualified.

    ma/mud



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