From surgery to World Cup as Stanikzai leads…

Posted March 26, 2018

Reaching the World Cup might have been a potted path for them.

Both teams will have breathed a big sigh of relief earlier this week having secured qualification to the 2019 World Cup after expending plenty of blood, sweat and tears.

Along with England, India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh got a direct entry while West Indies and Afghanistan qualified through the World Cup qualifier.

Today's final Super Sixes match at the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe was a straight shoot-out for the second qualifying berth behind West Indies after the host nation blew their chances with defeat against United Arab Emirates yesterday. The ten team tournament has gained criticism due to the lack of Associate teams in the tournament.

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The West Indies won the World Cup twice before.

Shahzad was named the player of the match for his half-century as Afghanistan will now face Windies in the final of the tournament on Sunday. One of the best fun zone or fun base that I have actually played in front of.

With him in partnership with the impressive off-spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, along with left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf, West Indies are sure to face another trial by spin but Holder said his side would be prepared.

"For them to progress, it is going to be harder". So, the momentum is with us and we'd like to take it into the final.

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Afghanistan received huge favours from other teams - Nepal defeated Hong Kong, while Scotland and Zimbabwe lost to West Indies and UAE.

"I feel sorry for Scotland how it ended for them". Opening the bowling, he immediately put the Windies on the back foot when he accounted for Chris Gayle, before picking up three wickets in his 10th over to finish with four for 43.

That however, didn't stop Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the top-order pair of Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah from giving a glimpse of what the top-eight teams can expect from this supposedly unfancied opposition in the showpiece event in England next year.

No.7 batsman Rovman Powell finished as the top scorer with a 75-ball 44, while Shimron Hetmyer (38), Evin Lewis (27), Ashley Nurse (26 not out) and Shai Hope (23) were the other batsmen to cross the 20-run mark.

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