Afghanistan beat PNG for berth in T20 World Cup
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan on Thursday defeated Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets in a must-win play-off and booked a berth in next year’s ICC World Twenty20 tournament in India, an official said.
PNG won the toss and elected to bat in the third and most important qualifying play-off in Dublin, posting a modest total of 127 runs after losing initial wickets in quick succession.
Cricket board spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghan bowlers with their hard work restricted the rivals to 127 and clinched six wickets.
He said Shahpur Zadran conceded just 12 runs and took two wickets in his four-over spell. Mohammad Nabi, Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Hamid Hassan shared one wicket each.
The Afghans easily achieved the target in the 18th over with six wickets in hand and qualified for the World Cup to be played in India next year.
Experienced batsman Nawroz Mangal remained unbeaten at 65 and Ashgar Stanikzai contributed 22 runs, Samiullah Shinwari 11 and Najib Zadran 14. Mangal was named a second time the man of the mach.
Afghan skipper Asghar Stanikzai said it was “a do-or-die encounter” for them and all players played well.
Afghanistan took to a brilliant start in the qualifying event, winning three matches in a row. But later their two matches ended in a draw due to rains, preventing their advance. And then they lost to Oman and earned third place in the group.
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