Afghanistan earn 2014 T20 World Cup spot
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan thrashed Kenya by 34 runs in the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to find their way to next year's mega event, an official said.
Batting first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the national squad posted a total of 148 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the stipulated 20 overs, Afghanistan Cricket Board spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Top order batsman Noor Ali Zadran top-scored with 50 off 48 balls with the help of four boundaries and a six, putting on a 48-run second wicket partnership with Karim Sadiq, who chipped in with 30. Najibullah Zadran hit 33 valuable runs to guide the team to a fighting total.
Samiullah Shinwari, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, shone with the ball and bagged five vital wickets in his four-over spell, conceding only 13 runs. He was intelligently supported by Shahpur Zadran and Mirwais Ashraf, claiming two wickets apiece, Hotak said.
Unable to face the aggressive Afghan bowling attack, Kenya were bundled out for a paltry 114 runs in 18.2 overs, handing the war-weary nation a well-deserved win. Rakep Patel (52) and Steve Tikolo (25) were the main scorers for the losers.
As Afghanistan notched up their sixth triumph in a row, Ireland trounced Hong Kong by 85 runs for its seventh successive victory. The results saw them emerging as group leaders and qualifying for the 2014 extravaganza in Bangladesh.
Beaten by Holland in the first outing, the Afghans earned 12 points by outplaying Kenya, Nepal, Denmark, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Dr. Noor Mohammad Murad congratulated the team on their impressive performance. He hoped the result would boost the national side's morale in the encounters ahead.
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