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Afghanistan beat Ireland to qualify for World Cup 2019

24 March 2018

Ireland scored a modest 209 for seven in their 50 overs in the winner-takes-all match to decide who would join the West Indies in securing a place at the World Cup from the qualifying tournament.

The only way Zimbabwe can qualify for the World Cup is in the scenario of a tie but (in which each side bats for, at least, 25 overs).

The chief architect of the crucial victory was Mohammad Shahzad, who played a patient inning of 54 runs off 50 balls while Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai assisted Shahzad with a quick-fire knock of 39 runs off just 29 balls.

Stirling was Ireland's top scorer with a clean 55 from 87 balls with three fours and a six, before he was run-out, while Niall O'Brien, playing in his 100 ODI, contributed 36 off 41 with four fours and a six.

Afghanistan's fairy-tale run in the qualifier resembled that of Pakistan's and Australia's successes in the 1992 and 1999 World Cups.

Afghanistan qualified for its second Cricket World Cup after beating Ireland by five wickets in Harare on Friday.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan will now play the West Indies on Sunday in the final of the qualifying tournament in Harare.

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Ireland started their innings strongly and at one point, it appeared that they will cross the 250-mark but Afghanistan bowlers stepped up and contained the burgeoning threat.

"It has to be put back into the game because if countries don't have a World Cup to look forward to or the possibility of getting to the World Cup; if they actually give that carrot, dangle it in front of countries, surely cricket is going to get better in those countries and actually expand".

Afghanistan received huge favours from other teams - Nepal defeated Hong Kong, while Scotland and Zimbabwe lost to West Indies and UAE. He said that the team has learned a lot from the tournament. "We want to present this gift to everyone back home".

Porterfield added: "I feel sorry for Scotland how it ended for them". They tried to make it a 10-team World Cup last time with no qualification.

Afghanistan clinched the final spot after holding their nerve in the final Super Six game.

Porterfield also isn't a fan of the structure of the World Cup, with the format of the group stages being such that India, England and Australia are ensured of nine games in order to cater to television audiences.

Afghanistan beat Ireland to qualify for World Cup 2019