3 Oct 2013

Afghanistan on verge of World Cup

11:24 am on 3 October 2013

Afghanistan is just one win away from direct qualification to the Cricket World Cup after defeating Kenya by eight wickets in the first of their two ODIs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Hamid Hassan returned match figures of four for 19 as Kenya, opting to bat first, was bowled out for 89 in 37.5 overs.

In turn, Nawroz Mangal belted three fours and four sixes in a 60-ball 52, and Mohammad Shahzad scored a 41-ball 33 as Afghanistan achieved victory for the loss of two wickets inside 18 overs.

The win moves Afghanistan to within striking distance of the crucial second spot in the competition, only one point behind the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands.

The second and final ODI will be played on Friday, also at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

If Afghanistan wins that match, it will secure second position behind Ireland and qualify for its maiden World Cup.