Afghanistan Reaching for Cricket World Cup — Whips Kenya, One Game to Go

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Afghanistan Targeting 2015 Cricket World Cup

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Posted date: October 01, 2013 In: Sports | comment : 0 Comments

Afghanistan can qualify for the 2015 Cricket World Cup if they beat Kenya on Wednesday October 2nd   and Friday October 4th in the final two games at the World Cricket League Championship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ireland has already qualified from the competition as the top team and although the Afghans are fourth in the table of eight sides they can overtake UAE and Netherlands with two One Day International (ODI) victories in Sharjah to take the second qualifying spot.

If Aghanistan does not win both games, UAE will go to the 2015 tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

The Afghans and Kenyans have met four times in ODIs and each won twice. Afghanistan has won seven of its 12 championship matches in Sharjah, while Kenya has won five, including victories over both Ireland and UAE.

The coach of the Afghan side, former Pakistan international Kabir Khan, is confident.

The bottom six teams in the Sharjah competition still have a chance of qualifying for the 2015 tournament alongside other squads at next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, which will determine the last two teams to go through.

Afghanistan whip Kenya to dent UAE’s hopes

Hassan takes four wickets, Mangal hits half-century as team close in on World Cup

  • By K.R. Nayar, Chief Cricket Writer
  • Published: 17:13 October 2, 2013

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: ICC
  • Afghanistan pacer Hamid Hassan who destroyed Kenya with a deadly four wicket spell appeals successfully for a leg before wicket.

Sharjah: Afghanistan put a big dent in the UAE’s hopes of qualifying for the 2015 World Cup when they thrashed Kenya by eight wickets in their ICC World Cricket League (WCL) match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Dominating the match from the start, Afghanistan bowled Kenya out for a paltry 89 runs and won the 50-overs-per-side match in just 17.5 overs. A second successive victory on Friday against the same opposition would result in Afghanistan pipping the UAE by one point to second position in the WCL standings and a place at the World Cup. Ireland have already qualified after winning the league.

Afghanistan won Wednesday’s match in style, with opener Nawroz Mangal hitting a six over mid-wicket off Hiren Varaiya to bring an early end to proceedings. Mangal remained unbeaten on 52, his knock coming off 60 balls with three boundaries and four sixes.

Earlier, Kenya who won the toss and elected to bat first, crashed to the deadly pace of Hamid Hassan, who returned figures of 10-2-19-4. He began by bowling Kenya opener Irfan Karim and trapping skipper Collins Obuya leg before for one.

Shapoor Zadran made it tougher for Kenya with a double strike, while Samiullah Shenwari also struck twice as Kenya crashed to 37 for six after 15 overs.

If not for wicketkeeper Morris Ouma, who hit a fighting 24, and Ragheb Aga’s 18, Kenya would have been shot out before the 50 run mark. Only Ouma, Aga and last man Varaiya (11) reached double figures.

Afghanistan chased the small total with ease. Openers Mohammad Shahzad and Mangal put on 79 in 15.2 overs before Shahzad fell for 33 to Varaiya’s left-arm spin. Varaiya also dismissed next batsman Hashmatullah Shaidi for a duck, but Mangal and Asghar Stanikzai steered the team easily to the target.

On Monday, Afghanistan thrashed Kenya by 106 runs in a Twenty20 match. Afghanistan, after piling up 162 for six, bowled Kenya out for just 56, which was Kenya’s lowest total in the format.

Brief scores

Kenya 89 all out in 37.5 overs (Morris Ouma 24; Hamid Hassan 4-19, Shapoor Zadran 2-16, Samiullah Shenwari 2-14); Afghanistan 95 for 2 in 17.5 overs (Nawroz Mangal 52no, Mohammad Shahzad 33; Hiren Varaiya 2-12).

Afghanistan beat Kenya by 8 wickets