Afghanistan Triumph Again To Boost World Cup Bid
Afghanistan 261-5 (Mohd. Nabi 51) beat
Scotland 259-9 (Coetzer 133) by 5 wickets
Second One-Day International, Sharjah
Afghanistan made it four wins in a row over Scotland with a five-wicket victory in the second of two One-Day Internationals in Sharjah.
The win puts them level on points with leaders United Arab Emirates and Ireland in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, from which the top two teams qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
Kyle Coetzer scored a brilliant 133 for Scotland, who posted a competitive 259 for nine before Afghanistan, led by captain Mohammad Nabi's 51, overhauled their target with eight balls to spare.
Coetzer struck 14 fours and two sixes in his 136-ball innings and it was his maiden ODI century that put Scotland in a decent position, allied with Josh Davey's 64.
Afghanistan kept themselves in the game, however, by not allowing any other batsmen to score more than 13 runs, Samiullah Shenwari taking three for 42, Dawlat Zadran two for 47 and Nabi two for 53.
In the first match, Afghanistan had been chasing a smaller target and were able to recover from making a poor start. This time their run chase got off to the perfect start as Mohammad Shahzad (48) and Nawroz Mangal (30) put on 63 together before Shahzad became Leicestershire bowler Rob Taylor's maiden international wicket on debut.
Mangal was caught and bowled by Gordon Drummond soon after but 28 from Asghar Stanikai and 35 from Rahmat Shah kept the scoreboard ticking over but at 160 for four, the game was in the balance.
Nabi then came in and struck five fours in a 44-ball innings of 51 that swung the game decisively in his side's favour. Even though he was dismissed by Matthew Machan in the 45th over, he had left Shenwari (30 not out) and Gulbodin Naib (21 not out) time enough to knock off the remaining runs relatively comfortably.
After winning both Twenty20 matches and now both ODIs, Afghanistan will be hoping to make it a complete clean sweep when the two sides begin their ICC Intercontinental Cup match on Tuesday (12th March).
© Cricket World 2013
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