Irish captain William Porterfield won the toss and elected to bat first in the final match of the super six stage in the ICC World Cup Qualifier.
Irish openers batted well putting on 53 runs for the first wicket before Mohammad Nabi broke the partnership in 16th over getting the wicket of the Irish captain, Porterfield. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan claiming 3 wickets, which also means that he is now just one wicket away to become the quickest to take 100 wickets in ODIs. Ireland scored 209/7 in 50 overs setting a target of 210 runs for Afghanistan to chase in 50 overs and secure the only remaining slot in ICC World Cup 2019.
Afghan openers played well as they put on the highest opening partnership for Afghanistan in the ongoing tournament. Mohammad Shahzad, in particular, rose to the occasion and scored a crucial innings of 54 runs before losing his wicket. Gulbadin Naib, who was the man of the match in the previous game, continued his good form scoring 45 runs.
Afghan skipper, Asghar Stanikzai who went through an appendicitis operation ahead of the tournament, led from the front scoring 39 runs off 29 balls. He fittingly hit the winning runs off the first ball in the final over as Afghanistan beat Ireland by 5 wickets and secured a spot in next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
Mohammad Shahzad’s half-century and two catches earned him the man of the match award.
Afghanistan will next face Windies on sunday for the final of the ICC World Cup Qualifier.