ICL: Indian Cricket League

Afghans shock Ireland to keep Cup dream alive


Cricket minnows Afghanistan kept alive their dream of a place at the 2011 World Cup with a shock 22-run victory over Ireland on Saturday.

The team that has risen from the fifth division to the final qualifying tournament for a place beside giants like title holders Australia, South Africa and India, made 218-7 in their allotted 50 overs.

And Ireland, who started the game as hot favourites after five consecutive first-round wins, were restricted to 196 in 47.3 overs with medium bowler Hameed Hasan the five-wicket hero.

Victory earned Afghanistan their first World Cup Qualifier Super 8 points and if they carry on winning against Canada, Namibia and Scotland next week, would finish with eight. That would put them in contention for a place among the top four countries on the final standings, who join the top 10 nations at the world ODI showcase in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan began their innings poorly, losing openers Noor Ali (18) and Karim Sadiq (6) cheaply, but Raees Ahmadzai (50), Asghar Stanikzai (47) and Mohamed Shehzad (46) came to the rescue.

Andrew White and Peter Connell took two wickets each for Ireland. Ireland also began badly with the bat, losing their first two wickets with only six runs on the scoreboard, and at 73-5 were in trouble before White (56) and Kevin O’Brien (52) stabilised the innings. But the pair was clean bowled by Hasan, who also took the sting out of the tail with the wickets of Regan West and Connell, to get the Afghans back on the winning trail.

Canada made light of absent star batsman John Davison to defeat Kenya by seven wickets, Scotland were 26-run victors over the Dutch and Namibia had a 49-run win over UAE in other matches.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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