ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018: Afghanistan win thriller against West Indies to stay in race
Afghanistan kept their hopes of qualifying for the 2019 world cup alive as Afghanistan beat West Indies by three wickets at Harare. Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s effective spin bowling laid the foundation of the victory while Rahmat Shah’s steady knock of 68 runs allowed Afghanistan to reach the target of 198 runs in the 48th over.
Jason Holder and Keemo Paul’s pace ensured Afghanistan began their chase of 198 runs in a defensive mode. The pacers restricted Afghanistan to 17 runs for two wickets in the fifth over but then Rahmat Shah and Samiullah Shenwari came to the batting team’s rescue.
Shenwari negotiated the threat of new ball and scored 27 runs off 51 balls. Nikita Miller ended Shenwari’s resistance in the 21st over but by then the duo of Shenwari and Rahmat had added 66 runs for the third wicket.
Mohammad Nabi then tagged with Rahamat and pushed the score to 132 runs before getting out to Holder in the 36th over. Nabi scored 31 runs off 51 balls. Five overs later, Nurse sent back Rahamat as well with Afghanistan still needing 46 runs in ten overs. Rahamat scored 68 runs off 109 balls.
Afghanistan’s tailenders then helped the team cross the line and completed the chase in the 48th over. Skipper Rashid Khan stood not out on 13 runs off 11 balls along with Sharafuddin Ashraf (07 runs off 07 balls).Jason Holder claimed three wickets in ten overs while Keemo Paul grabbed two wickets.
Earlier in the game, Afghanistan’s spinners kept West Indies’ batsmen hooked and restricted them to 197 runs. Shai Hope offered some resistance and scored 43 runs off 94 balls. Mujeeb Ur Rahman picked up there wickets in his ten overs while Mohammad Nabi gave away 43 runs and picked up 02 wickets as well.
With this win, Afghanistan who had disappointing results in the last few games has stormed back in the tournament and is now once again in the contention of qualifying for the 2019 world cup.