Afghanistan beat Ireland to qualify for World Cup
March 23 (CRICKETNMORE) - Afghanistan returned from the pit’s edge to qualify for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they defeated Ireland by five wickets in a tension-filled last Super Six match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 at the Harare Sports Club.
Afghanistan were set for an early flight home when they lost their first three group matches but managed to qualify for the Super Six after Nepal upset Hong Kong. After winning both their Super Six matches against the Windies and the United Arab Emirates, they received an unexpected lifeline on Thursday when the UAE held their nerves to shock Zimbabwe by three runs.
In Friday’s shootout, Afghanistan suffocated Ireland for runs on what looked like a good batting surface and restricted them to 209 for seven. They then almost made a hash of a straightforward run-chase before coasting home for the loss of five wickets with five balls to spare in what turned out to be a battle of attrition.
Afghanistan have joined the Windies as the second qualifier from the Zimbabwe event and the two sides will now go head to head in the final at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.