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Afghanistan pull off the great escape to make World Cup

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Afghanistan celebrate after getting a wicket © International Cricket Council

Afghanistan 213 for 5 (Shahzad 54, Naib 45, Simi 3-30) beat Ireland 209 for 7 (Stirling 55, Rashid 3-40) by five wickets

Afghanistan completed a miraculous revival to secure their passage to the World Cup in England next year with a five-wicket win over Ireland in the final Super Six match of the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe. Afghanistan lost their group games to Scotland, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong and entered the Super Six with no points, but victories over West Indies, UAE and Ireland – as well as helpful results in other games – meant that their World Cup dreams came to rest on their final match against Ireland. Chasing 210 on a slow track, Mohammad Shahzad led the way with a rapid fifty before Asghar Stanikzai, who missed the group stage due to an emergency appendectomy, secured the result with an unbeaten 39.

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Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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