Afghanistan secure World Cup spot; will face Windies in Sunday's final

Live Cricket Score Afghanistan vs Ireland World Cup Qualifiers 2018 Ireland Post A Target Of 210 For Afghanistan

Afghanistan, who entered the Super Six second phase of the competition with no points, won all three of their games in that stage to join the West Indies at the finals in England next year.

It is a spectacular reversal of fortunes for Afghanistan.

When one remembers, however, that their opponents were the UAE, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands, and Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Scotland, even remembering the West Indies record against Afghanistan, their most recent record against Zimbabwe, and that they lost to Ireland last time out, it was not so.

"First of all, congratulations to Afghanistan", he said.

"I think the nation is going to be so happy today", said Simmons who will now face West Indies in Sunday's final.

"We had a quick turnaround between games, but I'm proud of them for sticking in".

The 19-year-old leg-spinner snatched seven for 18 in the St Lucia contest - the fourth-best figures in ODI history - before returning with miserly figures of two for seven from 22 balls to help formalise the warm-up win earlier in this tournament. The Afghanistan opener struck six fours and two sixes in his 50-ball 54 as Afghanistan knocked off 86 runs of the sub-par target in under 17 overs.

Southgate enjoying England's new brand of football
This wasn't a game full of chances, but England managed the game pretty well overall. This was England's first win in Amsterdam since 1969.

The second lifeline was Zimbabwe's stunning loss to the UAE, which left the victor of the Afghanistan-Ireland game with a clear path to the Cricket World Cup. We've obviously qualified for the World Cup, which was our first priority and obviously, coming into the final, it means a lot to us to finish off the tournament well and win it.

Eventually, the team assembled in front of a made-to-order (by the ICC) "We're In!" board but for large portions of the match, and these qualifiers by extension, Afghanistan looked strangely overawed by the occasion.

William Porterfield (20) and Paul Stirling (55) provided a solid 53-run opening stand that came off 92 deliveries.

The boys are gutted and they know their performance, especially against the United Arab Emirates in the match that sealed our fate, was not good enough to take us through.

"We lost wickets in crucial periods".

Afghanistan: 213/5 in 49.1 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 54, Gulbadin Naib 45, Asghar Stanikzai 39 not out, Samiullah Shenwari 27; Simi Singh 3/30). By then, the troika of Rashid, Mujeeb Zadran and Mohammad Nabi had bowled 29 overs for 119 runs, taking four wickets in the process.

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