Afghanistan Beat Kenya To Reach 2015 World Cup
Afghanistan 96-3 (Mohammad Nabi 46no) beat
Kenya 93 (Hamza Hotak 3-19) by seven wickets
ICC World Cricket League Championship, Sharjah
Afghanistan delivered another comprehensive performance to beat Kenya by seven wickets in Sharjah and qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
They needed to win the final World Cricket League Championship One-Day International to move ahead of the United Arab Emirates into second place in the table, and just as they did two days ago, they dismissed Kenya for less than 100.
This time Kenya managed just 93 as only two players were able to reach double figures and although Shem Ngoche took two wickets in his first over to reduce Afghanistan to 34 for three, they got home comfortably in the end.
There were to be no further wickets and Mohammad Nabi steered Afghanistan over the line with some robust hitting during his 46 not out in 42 balls.
He hit the winning runs, drilling Ngoche through midwicket to spark scenes of joy among his team-mates and a good sized Afghan following in the crowd.
It was Afghanistan's spinners who had done the bulk of the damage in Kenya's innings and although Maurice Ouma (39) and Rakep Patel (18) made starts, they were alone in doing so.
Hamza Hotak (3-19), Karim Sadiq (2-10) and Nabi (2-10) whirled their way through the batting line-up before Hamid Hassan ended the innings with the wickets of Nehemiah Odhiambo (2) and Hiren Varaiya (0).
Afghanistan then lost the wicket of Mohammad Shahzad for one, caught at mid-on by Patel and they went to lunch on 24 for one.
After the break, Kenya came out and went on the attack, which was the only way of getting back into the game.
Turning to their slow bowlers Varaiya and Ngoche earned rewards when Ngoche had Asghar Stanikzai bowled for nine with his first ball and Nawroz Mangal trapped in front for 19 five balls later.
A few edges flew past slip and Odhiambo dropped a late chance, but once Afghanistan had overcome the testing spell immediately after the double strike, they settled and quickly knocked off the runs.
The powerful Nabi hit three fours and two sixes in all while Hashmatullah Shaidi was unbeaten on 13.
Afghanistan will now take their place in Group A of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they will take on Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and another qualifier.
For the first time, at least five teams from Asia will compete at the World Cup as Afghanistan make their first appearance.
© Cricket World 2013