Mohammad Nabi © Getty Images
Mohammad Nabi © Getty Images

In a do or die match, Nepal elected to bat against Afghanistan in the Match 16, Group B of the ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018. Nepal posted a target of 195 with the skipper, Paras Khadka being the star batsman again. In his innings of 75 he hit 10 fours and a six. However, it was Rahmat Shah‘s and Najibullah Zadran‘s innings that registered the first win for Afghanistan by 6 wickets with 11.2 overs to spare.

Rashid Khan opened the batting with Javed Ahmadi and scored quick 21 off 14. It was the 4th over where Rashid hit Karan KC for three consecutive boundaries. The score at the end of four overs was 28 for none. Sompal Kami from the other end bowled a maiden over which forced Rashid to try and accelerate in the 6th over costing him his wicket. Ahmadi was struggling to get going and the score end of Powerplay was 37 for 1.

It was Rahmat with his good form stabled the innings scoring 46 off 75. Mohammad Nabi in the middle played an important hand scoring 34 off 32. Najjibullah(52) smashed 18 off the 36th over and hit the wining shot for Afghanistan giving them a reason to cheer in the tournament.

Earlier in the match, Mujeeb Zadran provided early breakthrough for the Afghans dismissing Anil Sah for 7. Mujeeb bowled an impressive opening spell of 5-1-9-1. The 92 run partnership between Gyanendra Malla and Khadka set the stage for Nepal. Nabi picked up the well set Khadka which opened the floodgates for Nepal. Nabi went on to pick four wickets in his 10 overs conceding only 33 runs. Nepal who once were 105/1 collapsed to 194 all-out.

With the win Afghanistan have kept their World Cup 2019 dream alive. They still need to beat Hong Kong by a fair margin and need a bit of luck as well. Nepal on the other hand have lost three consecutive matches.

Brief Score

Nepal 194 allout (Paras Khadka 75; Mohammad Nabi 4 for 33) lost to Afghanistan 195 for 4 (Najibullah Zadran 52, Rahmat Shah 46; Dipendra Airee 2 for 25) by 6 wickets.

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