Afghanistan earn World Cup spot
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan earned a well-deserved spot in the 2015 World Cup on Friday when they trounced Kenya by seven wickets in the second one-day match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League in Sharjah.
Skipper Mohammad Nabi smashed a superb unbeaten 46, as Afghanistan produced a second remarkable performance in as many days to reach the significant milestone of qualifying for the cricketing extravaganza.
By virtue of the convincingly emphatic triumph, they moved ahead of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into second place, the Afghanistan Cricket Board spokesman said.
In what looked like a replay of Wednesday’s encounter, they skittled Kenya out for 92 in the 44th over, Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone from Sharjah.
The decision to put the opposition in paid off, as only two Kenyan players could reach double figures. Then Shem Ngoche struck twice in his very first over but Afghanistan romped home comfortably.
Hotak said an exquisite boundary through midwicket by Nabi -- who was adjudged the man of the match -- touched off celebrations among his teammates and a sizeable Afghan crowd in the UAE.
Earlier in the one-sided duel, Afghanistan's spinners gave the opposition a tough time. Though Maurice Ouma hit 39 and Rakep Patel 18, yet they ran out of partners at crucial intervals.
Hamza Hotak was the pick of Afghan bowlers, capturing three vital wickets, followed by Karim Sadiq and Nabi with two scalps each. Hamid Hassan wrapped up the Kenyan innings by sending Odhiambo and Hiren Varaiya back to the pavilion.
While chasing the target, Afghanistan lost Asghar Stanikzai for nine and Nawroz Mangal for 19, but then Nabi hit three boundaries and two towering sixes to hand his side an impressive win.
Based at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium due to bad security in their home country, Afghanistan picked up two points each from the ODI matches and finish ahead of the UAE.
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