Afghanistan boost World Cup hopes with quickfire p
BUENOS AIRES: Afghanistan boosted their World Cup qualifying bid on Wednesday with an impressive eight-wicket win over World Cricket League Division Three leaders Papua New Guinea in a game wrapped up before lunch.
PNG, who had won all of their opening three games, were bowled out for a paltry 94 with Hamid Hassan taking 3-26.
A quickfire fifty from man-of-the-match Karim Khan helped Afghanistan to their target with 36.2 overs to spare.
"I am very proud that I captained my country, took six catches and scored a fifty. I am also pleased we have helped our net run rate and hopefully we go out and win on Friday (against the Cayman Islands)," said Karim.
The top two teams in the league will go through to to April's World Cup qualifier in South Africa.
Papua New Guinea chose to bat first, despite the fact overnight rain had meant the wicket was extremely bowler friendly in the humid, overcast conditions.
It may have been a decision they were soon regretting after collapsing to 29-4 before stumbling to 94 all out off 31 overs.
With net run-rate likely to come into contention on Friday's final day of group matches, Afghanistan played in typically aggressive fashion and Karim's 50, off 43 balls, including eight fours, was just what they needed.
Two wickets by Ronald Ssemanda in the final over against Hong Kong handed Uganda a dramatic one-run win to leave three teams sit level on six points.
Needing just 21 runs for victory, with five wickets in hand and 27 balls remaining, Hong Kong looked all set for victory, after an 84-run third-wicket partnership from Butt Hussain (52) and Manoj Cheruparambil (51).
But inspired bowling from Kenneth Kamyuka (4-21) and Ssemanda (3-40) created a memorable finish.
With just three runs required in the final over, Ssemanda dismissed Zain Abbas (35), before Jamie Atkinson was trapped lbw.
Earlier in the day, Roger Mukasa's 67 provided the foundation for Uganda's 180 all out, with Moner Ahmed the pick of the bowlers with 4-30.
In the day's other game, Cayman Islands beat Argentina by 6 wickets to condemn the hosts to relegation.
In Friday's matches, Argentina play Uganda, PNG faces Hong Kong, while Afghanistan take on the Cayman Islands.
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