Afghanistan complete fifth win on the bounce to clinch World Cup qualifiers title




Mohammad Shahzad's 93-ball 84 helped Afghanistan canter to the title.

Mohammad Shahzad’s 93-ball 84 helped Afghanistan canter to the name. © Getty

It took a very long time, and the celebs to all of a sudden align completely, for Afghanistan to ultimately reside as much as the pre-tournament expectation, as they went one step forward of confirming their 2019 Global Cup qualification, and beat Windies within the ultimate of the Global Cup qualifiers. Even sooner than Sunday’s fixture had begun, the 2 finalists had already taken the final two vacant spots within the 10-team event, thus, elevating query marks over the aim and context of a last in a ‘qualifier’ event.

That then again, did not forestall Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the top-order pair of Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah from giving a glimpse of what the top-eight groups can be expecting from this supposedly unfancied opposition within the showpiece tournament in England subsequent yr. From just about some degree of no go back, because of defeats within the first 3 video games in their marketing campaign, Afghanistan stitched in combination 5 successive victory to ultimately emerge the champions.

In chase of a measly 205, out got here Shahzad in his ever-boisterous temper, pulling and flicking the ball in taste, elevating his again leg from time to time in abnormal however trademark style, or even maintaining the pose for the cameramen to click on away whilst the ball was once transported to the fence. The portly opener was once fairly severe when he completed his post-match presentation chat within the earlier recreation with the phrases ‘West Indies, we’re coming’.

There was once trace of scratchiness to the beginning of his innings, however the self assurance and luxury got here very quickly. And as soon as that took place, obstacles started to pile up as Jason Holder & Co. could not be penetrative sufficient with the low overall placing over their heads. Younger Keemo Paul controlled to finish a breezy opening stand through pushing aside opener Gulbadin Naib within the 10th over, however the second-wicket partnership – between Shahzad and Rahmat Shah – lasted for the following 21 overs, killing any hopes from the Windies camp to shield a sub-par ranking.

Whilst Shahzad adopted his 50-ball 54 within the the most important win in opposition to Eire that sealed Afghanistan’s qualification to the event correct, with a 93-ball 84, Rahmat scored a 78-ball 51 – his 3rd fifty of the event – finishing as Afghanistan’s second-highest scorer with 234 runs. The pair added 90 runs in combination because the Windies hunt for a leap forward remained elusive. When it ultimately ended with Shahzad hitting one to Jason Holder at mid off, it was once too overdue. Gayle controlled to disregard each the half-centurions however such was once their contribution that Afghanistan strolled previous the objective through the 41st over. The cozy stroll within the park can have been performed through Shahzad, who was once rotated round through remainder of the jubilant Afghanistan avid gamers, but it surely was once placed on a platter for him and Rahmat courtesy the exploits in their youngster prodigy Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

The off-spinner earned the primary wicket for his workforce, that of the damaging Gayle after Windies made up our minds to bat first. The leap forward was once in large part down to hide fielder Sharafuddin Ashraf who ran backwards and dived sideways to finish a surprising catch. Evin Lewis and Shai Hope’s try to drive the tempo of the innings lasted all of 35 balls. Partnerships had been kick-started in complete earnest, however none lasted the predicted distance as wickets saved tumbling frequently.

Windies misplaced 1/2 their facet – together with captain Jason Holder for a diamond duck – throughout the first 1/2 of the innings for simply 101 runs at the board, and grew to become to their decrease order to bail them out and drag them to a place of respectability. Rovman Powell and Ashley Nurse replied the disaster name, to an extent, with the most productive partnership of the innings – value 44 runs – however Mujeeb returned to rattle the lower-order. He accounted for every of the final 3 wickets to fall as Windies folded meekly within the 47th over.

Temporary Scores: Windies 204 in 46.five overs (Rovman Powell 44, Shimron Hetmyer 38; Mujeeb Ur Rahman Four-43, Gulbadin Naib 2-28) misplaced to Afghanistan 206/three in 40.Four overs (Mohammad Shahzad 84, Rahmat Shah 51; Chris Gayle 2-38) through seven wickets

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