Afghanistan Reach WT20 2014 Qualifier FInal
Afghanistan beat Nepal by seven wickets to reach the final of ICC World Twenty20 2014 Qualifier while in the other morning matches, the Netherlands beat Hong Kong by the same margin to finish fifth and Scotland beat Papua New Guinea to take seventh place.
Afghanistan will play the winners of the Ireland v United Arab Emirates clash in the final tomorrow (30th November) and they were scarcely headed en route to a comfortable win.
Izatullah Dawlatzai (2-22) struck twice early to remove Subash Khakurel for three and Sagar Pun for two and Nepal struggled from there on.
Star batsmen Gyanendra Malla (14) and Paras Khadka (13) made starts but were unable to go on, both dismissed by Samiullah Shenwari, who also removed Binod Bhandari (3) to finish with three frofor 19.
Sharad Vesawkar ended unbeaten on 27 in 28 balls as the Nepalese limped to 90 for eight; Dawlat Zadran also picking up a brace of wickets.
Nepal were not about to be beaten without a fight, however, and Avinash Karn removed Mohammad Shahzad and Karim Sadiq for five runs apiece and when with Noor Ali Zadran forced to retire hurt, Afghanistan were effectively 11 for three in the third over.
Nawroz Mangal steadied things and then set them on course for victory with 48 in 32 balls before Shenwari (24 not out) and Gulbodin Naib (12 not out) finished the game off with more than five overs to spare.
For the second day in a row, the Netherlands produced an excellent performance batting second to end the tournament in fifth place.
They needed 18.4 overs to get past Hong Kong's score of 121 for seven, in which just three players reached double figures.
Babar Hayat scored 46 in 36 balls, Waqas Barkat made 24 in 37 and number nine Haseb Amjad hit 17 in nine balls at the death, but with Vivian Kingma taking three for 22 and Ahsan Malik two for 15, they weren't enough.
Dutch openers Stephan Myburgh and Ben Cooper hit 30 and 42 respectively to set the men in orange on their way with a 67-run stand in 7.5 ovrers and although both men, and Wesley Barresi (2) fell within two overs of each other to leave the score 76 for three, they still made it home with time eight balls to spare.
Tim Gruijters made 26 not out in 35 balls and Daan van Bunge 20 not out in 20 to prevent Hong Kong from fighting back.
Nizakat Khan took the wickets to finish with a haul of three for 10.
Scotland finished in seventh place as they beat Papua New Guinea by five wickets to continue the trend of teams batting second ending up on the winning side.
This was the game of the morning as Matthew Cross had to hit two from the final ball to win and managed to do so with a boundary after he and Richie Berrington had taken 15 runs from the final over.
PNG put up a good score of 143 for five with Jack Vare hitting an unbeaten 35, Tony Ura 27 and Geraint Jones 25. Majid Haq took three for 25 and Neil Carter two for 19 to prevent them from really kicking on, however.
Berrington anchored the run chase with 70 not out in 55 balls but PNG struck with regular wickets, Norman Vahua and Andrew Hicks taking two apiece as Scotland looked to be in big trouble, slipping to 31 for three, and then losing Kyle Coetzer (35) and Rob Taylor (6).
However, Berrington kept his head, and Cross, coming to the crease when Taylor was out with four balls to go, hit his first ball for six and his second for four to ensure Scotland ended the tournament on a high.
© Cricket World 2013