Shapoor Zadran, two for nine, and opener Nawroz Mangal’s unbeaten 65 runs off 73 balls notched up a six wicket victory for Afghanistan against Papua New Guinea with 11 balls spare. With this win the war ravaged nation – Afghanistan – have now advanced to the World T20 2016 finals in India.
“We are very happy. Qualification is very important for us. The team felt no pressure. The bowling won us the game. They bowled really well. It’s very important for our country that we qualified. We were disappointed by the performance against Hong Kong but now we are delighted,” euphoric Afghanistan captain Ashgar Stanikzai said.
Economical bowling spells from Afghanistan medium pacer Shapoor Zadran (2 Wickets for 9 Runs) and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi (1Wicket for 12 Rruns) restricted fighting Papua New Guinea inside 127 runs for six wickets.
In reply Afghanistan suffered a first ball blow as Mohammad Shahzad edged the Norman Vanua delivery to wicketkeeper Jack Vare.
A 57 runs second wicket partnership between Nawroz Mangal and Ashgar Stanikzai paved the way Afghanistan’s 6 wicket victory.
Leg-spinner Charles Amini took two crucial situations when match was almost tilted towards Afghanistan. First he broke the partnership at 10th over, and picked up another wicket in the form of Samiullah Shenwari, who was brilliantly stumped by Captain Jack Vare.
Left hander Mohammad Najibullah sealed the victory with a big six off Norman Vanua over midwicket.
The match was played at the Village ground, Malahide, Dublin to decide the 5th qualifier for the ICC World T20 2016 which will be held in India.
The match was going on at one corner of Atlantic in front of near empty stands. Nobody has time for this match. Although, for Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea the match was as important as World Cup final as the World T20 2016 berth was at stake.
— ICC (@ICC) July 23, 2015
Afghanistan were playing Papua New Guniea which could not even happened if they did not waste the chance to book the ticket for India in the first playoff against Hong Kong.
16 runs were required in the last over, but Mohammed Nabi’s three low waist full toss forced Afghanistan to hand over the match to Hong Kong, who qualified for World T20 for the first time.
But here from the beginning of the match Afghanistan were very much in the match, sent five Papua New Guinea batsmen inside 13 over, struggling Pacific Ocean island made 55 runs in these overs. Among the five batsmen, only Mahuru Dai was able to score double figure 11.
Since then, Papua New Guinea made an impressive recovery as Charles Amini and Norman Vanua’s respective 34 and 22 helped them to post fighting total on board. Captain Jack Vare also 13 valuable runs before he got run out in 17th over adding 34 runs crucial sixth wicket partnership with Amini.
Afghanistan are the fifth team to qualify for India 2016 through the window of third World T20 playoff Qualifier in Scotland and Ireland. The other four teams are hosts Scotland and Ireland who topped their respective group and hence directly qualified for the multilateral tournament; and through the first two playoffs Hong Kong and Netherlands booked their tickets for India.
Now, with the sixth and the last spot at stake, Oman and Namibia will lock horn at Malahide, Dublin later today (Thursday). This match is expected that will be a competitive one as they finished fourth in their respective group with seven points each.