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Afghanistan became the second team to qualify for the 50-over World Cup due to be held in England and Wales next year. Zimbabwe’s shock loss to the UAE yesterday meant the last Super-Six game between Ireland and Afghanistan was a virtual Quarterfinal. Batting first, Ireland could only post 7-209 in 50 overs thanks to the duo of Dawlat Zadran (2-54) and vile leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who scalped three wickets.

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Shahzad (54) and Naib (45) led the chase with an 86 run opening stand and just as the Irish shoulders were beginning to drop Simi struck. Shahzad’s dismissal triggered a mini-collapse but skipper Stanikzai along with Shenwari steadied the innings with a crucial 36 run partnership and although the latter got out for 27, a quickfire 17 from Zadran sealed the deal for Afghanistan.

In case you don’t know..

The fight for the two elusive spots in the 2019 World Cup intensified during the course of a week when the Windies beat Scotland in a rain-marred encounter leaving three teams in contention for the remaining spot. Zimbabwe were then handed a shock defeat by the UAE, dashing thier hopes of making it to the marquee event. Now that Afghanistan have qualified on virtue of a win over Ireland, they will now face the Windies for the summit clash on Sunday, March 25.