Live Updates

  • 8:14 PM IST

    ITS ALL OVER FOR IRELAND!! AFGHANISTAN QUALIFY!! They have kept calm and won it. You may call it lucky but they have reached the final and most importantly booked their tickets to England.

  • 6:47 PM IST

    OUT! The well set Gulbadin Naib has to go back to the pavilion. Naib held one side and produced a boundary once in a while. With his dismissal Mohammad Nabi comes in the middle. AFG 117 for 3 after 29.4 overs

  • 6:24 PM IST

    Afghanistan need only 103 runs to win with Naib still in the middle joined by Rahamat Shah. Shah has been the backbone of the Afghan batting line up this series. With 9 wickets in hand Afghanistan should chase the target under 50 overs.

  • 5:33 PM IST

    50 up for Afghanistan!!! And Shahzad brings it up with a superb lofted straight drive. He is playing his typical type of innings. With every boundary the chances of Iraland qualifying are getting narrower.

  • 5:08 PM IST

    Afghanistan have made a steady start to their innings. With the factor of rain Gulbadin Naib has opened with Mohammad Shahzad to score some quick runs. We won,t be surprised if we see Rashid Khan come to bat any sooner.

  • 4:23 PM IST

    210 is the target for Afghanistan to achieve to book their tickets to England next year. The bowlers have done well to restrict the run flow. Rashid again starred with the ball picking 3 wickets. He his 100 wicket landmark by 1 wicket.

  • 3:56 PM IST

    Afghanistan have pulled out things back very well. Ireland who were 210 for 2 at one point are now 5 down for 174. Rashid Khan leading the bowling attack has already picked up 2 wickets and is 2 wickets away from becoming the fastest bowler to pick 100 wickets (in terms of matches).

  • 3:07 PM IST

    OUT! Afghans have got the wicket they were looking for. Niall O’Brian had given an early call which Sitrling failed to notice and ended up running himself out at the non-strikers end. IRE 122/3 after 33 overs.

  • 2:50 PM IST

    50 for Stirling!! What an innings is he playing. This could be trouble for Afghanistan. IF he stays in the middle for long he can take away the game from them. IRE 98/2 afrer 28.2 overs.

  • 2:03 PM IST

    OUT! Finally a wicket has fallen for Afghanistan as Nabi strikes. Soft dismissal for Poterfield on 20. Ireland 55/ 1 after 15.5 overs.

Head-to-head, in ODIs, Ireland have won 9 of their 16 matches against Afghanistan © AFP
Head-to-head, in ODIs, Ireland have won 9 of their 16 matches against Afghanistan © AFP

Hello and welcome to Cricketcountry’s live coverage of ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018. As we head to the penultimate game of the tournament, we still do not have the second team who has made it to the 2019 World Cup. The fact illustrates how competitive and thrilling the tournament has been.

Afghanistan taking on arch-rivals Ireland at Harare was touted to be a dead-rubber. The game now is a virtual semi-final, with the winner finding themselves a spot in the 2019 World Cup.

Afghanistan played in the 2015 World Cup and their rise in the recent past has been most impressive. Meanwhile, Ireland have played the last three editions of the World Cup and every time they have pulled off an upset. They beat Pakistan in 2007, England in 2011 and West Indies in 2015.

West Indies are the only side to have qualified for the 2019 World Cup after notching up a close win against Scotland by DLS method. The winner of today’s match will be through and play West Indies in the final.

Afghanistan have enjoyed an upper hand against Ireland in the recent past. However, when it comes to the overall head-to-head, Ireland holds the edge. In the 16 ODIs played between the two, Ireland have managed 9 wins whereas Afghanistan have 7 to their name.

(Trivia: Afghanistan have 7-3 advantage over Ireland in T20Is)

On Thursday, Zimbabwe suffered a shock defeat in the hands of UAE and blew their chances away. At one stage, they were comfortable with five points but back-to-back losses have dented their hopes. They still have an outside chance to make it, provided the match between Ireland and Afghanistan end in a tie. Zimbabwe have been a part of every World Cup since 1983.

Graeme Cremer: Very painful for Zimbabwe to stumble at the last hurdle
Graeme Cremer: Very painful for Zimbabwe to stumble at the last hurdle

If Afghanistan make it, it won’t be anything short of a fairytale, especially after losing the first three games and being on verge of exit from the group stage.

(Interesting numbers: The game will be Niall O’ Brien’s 100th ODI and if Rashid Khan gets four wickets today, he will be the fastest to 100 ODI wickets. Mitchell Starc holds the record with 100 wickets from 52 ODIs, this will be Rashid’s 43rd match.)

Squads:

Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Asghar Stanikzai (c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Shapoor Zadran, Afsar Zazai

Ireland: William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Niall O’ Brien (wk), Kevin O Brien, Simi Singh, Gary Wilson, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, James Shannon

Full Scorecard