Saturday 17 November, 2018

West Indies lose to Afghanistan in World Cup Qualifier final

West Indies on Sunday lost the ICC World Cup Qualifier final against Afghanistan by seven wickets at the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe.

Teenager Rashid Khan, helped Afghanistan to the victory and in the process became the fastest bowler to 100 One-Day International (ODI) wickets.

Afghanistan had been the only side to previously beat the Windies in the competition as both teams secured spots in next year's World Cup - and when Stuart Law's side was bowled out for a mediocre 204 on Sunday, a repeat was on the cards.

Mohammad Shahzad thumped 84 from 93 balls to help his side home with 56 deliveries to spare, with Rahmat Shah (51) offering good support.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman was the star performer with the ball for Afghanistan, returning 4-43 as Rovman Powell top-scored for the Windies with 44.

The milestone moment for Khan came when the spinner trapped Shai Hope lbw in the 23rd over, bringing up a century of ODI scalps in only his 44th appearance.

A target of 205 never looked likely to trouble Afghanistan once Shahzad got going and Mohammad Nabi (27 not out) rounded things off in style with three successive sixes off Chris Gayle.

This was West Indies' maiden appearance in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier after they failed to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 by finishing outside the top eight on the ICC ODI Team Rankings at the September 30, 2017 cut-off.

Afghanistan played in the qualifiers in 2009 in South Africa and finished fifth, but did not compete in the 2014 qualifier after having progressed to the 2015 World Cup by virtue of finishing second to Ireland in the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

The Windies, two-time former world champions, ended the tournament without beating Afghanistan.

West Indies lost their warm-up match by 29 runs after Dawlat Zadran's hat-trick. In the Super Six encounter, Afghanistan prevailed over the Caribbean side by three wickets.

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