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Afghanistan add spice to World Cup Qualifiers by defeating The Windies

by Sahir Usman Mar 15, 2018 • 22:10 PM

March 15 (CRICKETNMORE) - Afghanistan kept their hopes alive for a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they defeated the Windes by three wickets in a match of fluctuating fortunes.

The feature of Afghanistan’s win over the Windies, which gave them a 2-1 lead in four head-to-head matches, was their four-pronged spin attack that included wrist-spinner Rashid Khan, off-spinners Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Rahman, and left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf. The slow bowlers bowled 39 overs between them in which they conceded 138 runs and snapped up seven wickets.

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Mujeeb was the most successful bowler with three for 33, while Nabi bagged two for 43, including the wicket of Marlon Samuels for his 100th ODI scalp. The slow bowlers were well supported by some outstanding fielding in the deep as the Windies batsmen tried to break the shackles but only managed to find the alert Afghanistan fields.

Shai Hope was the top scorer with 43, while his 50-run fifth wicket partnership with Jason Holder (28) was the highest of the Windies’ innings.

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Afghanistan, in turn, were wobbling at 17 for two but Rehmat Shah (68) first rebuilt the innings with Samiullah Shenwari (27) and then with Nabi (31). But Nabi’s departure created some panic in the Afghanistan camp as they slipped to 168 for six in the 44th over, but Gulbadain Naib and Rashid Khan ensure victory was achieved without any further hiccups.

Mohammad Nabi became the first Afghanistan bowler to reach the 100-wicket milestone as the Asian side pinned the two-time former world champions against their four-pronged spin attack to restrict them to 197 for eight in 50 overs on a good batting surface in front of broadcast cameras at the Harare Sports Club.

They then recovered from 17 for two to 83 for three and finally 190 for seven before achieving the target for the loss of seven wickets with 14 balls to spare. Captain Jason Holder was the pick of his side’s bowlers when he finished with three for 39 and in the meantime, became the fifth Windies all-rounder and 64th overall to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs.

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