Afghanistan Win Low-Scorer To Reach World Twenty20
Afghanistan 101-6 (Noor Ali 38no) beat
United Arab Emirates 100-9 (Mohammad Nabi 3-17) by four wickets
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Super Fours, Dubai
Noor Ali guided Afghanistan to a four-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates in a low-scoring match that guarantees the Afghans a place in the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies later in the year.
The UAE made slow progress to 100 for nine but as is often the case in big matches, Afghanistan also struggled to score freely during their run chase, eventually getting home with three balls to spare.
Opener Ali was unbeaten on 38, holding his side's innings together as the UAE fought hard to stay in the competition.
Mohammad Nabi had been the chief architect of Afghanistan's impressive bowling effort, taking three for 17 to remove Abdul Rehman (18), Saqib Ali (24) and Fayyaz Ahmed (9).
Naeemuddin Aslam also hit 18 but two wickets from Mirwais Ashraf and Hamid Hassan and one apiece for Shapoor Zadran and Samiullah Shenwari kept Afghanistan in charge.
Shadeep Silva then dismissed Karim Sadiq (2) and Mohammad Shehzad (9) to leave Afghanistan in trouble at 16 for two but Ali, with support from Nowroz Mangal (14) and Asghar Stanikzai (26) got the innings back on track.
Two late wickets from Ahmed, one from Qadar Nawaz and the run out of Samiullah Shenwari, brought the UAE back into contention but Ali held firm, hitting the winning run from the 47th ball he faced to guarantee Afghanistan at least two matches in the Caribbean.
Before that, they play Ireland or the Netherlands in qualifying tournament final to determine which group they will find themselves in later in the year.
© Cricket World 2010