Stanikzai special takes Afghanistan to World Cup 2019

Afghanistan have been handed another life line to make it to the World Cup 2019

Afghanistan and West Indies both secured their places in the 2019 World Cup by finishing atop the 10-team qualifying tournament.

Favourites West Indies will be hoping not only to lift the title but also settle a few grudges, when they face plucky Afghanistan in today's final of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

Afghanistan recorded a straight forward seven wicket win over the West Indies in a final tainted by a sense of anti-climax.

Leg-spin sensation Rashid Khan became the fastest bowler ever to reach 100 one-day global wickets as the Windies were bowled out for 204, before big-hitting opener Shahzad smashed 84 as Afghanistan knocked off the runs with 9.2 overs to spare.

"The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier has seen some highly competitive and enthralling cricket with all sides producing some fine performances in their quest to qualify for the World Cup". Afghanistan is famous for coming back; after losing three games at the start we came back.

Porterfield's side will miss out on the tournament for the first time since 2003 after a five-wicket defeat to Afghanistan in their winner-takes-all qualifier in Harare on Friday.

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In the chase, Mohammad Shahzad (54) dominated the proceedings while Gulbadin Naib (45) was steady as Afghanistan reached 53 for naught in the first powerplay. While in the Super Six encounter, Afghanistan prevailed over the Caribbean side by three wickets following Mujeeb Rahman's three for 33 and Rahmat Shah's 68. When we lose, we must lose together. We had to win this game.

Although Scotland could have lost the match, and probably would have lost it, the odds favoured them had the match been completed.

"This is nothing but a miracle that we have won this tournament", added Stanikzai, whose team will also play their maiden Test match against India in Bangalore in June.

"When we played the game against Zimbabwe we beat them with four spinners as well", the Barbadian reminded. "I will dance with them, I'll interact with the crowd on Sunday as well, I will have some fun for sure", said one of the world's most destructive batsmen.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said his team had not got enough runs on the board.

Their opener Mohammad Shahzad scored 54 off 50 balls to take the Afghans to 86 before he was caught by Boyd Rankin off the bowling of Simi Singh in the 17th over.

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