Afghanistan pip Bangladesh to quarter-finals
Afghanistan Under-19s 196 for 6 (Shaidi 52, Mujtaba 50, Wessells 4-58) beat Namibia Under-19s 192 for 9 (Erasmus 84, Musa 3-35) by four wickets
Afghanistan added another cricketing achievement to a rapidly growing list when they reached the quarter-finals of the Under-19 World Cup. Afghanistan's senior team will play their third straight World T20 next month, and will feature in a 50-over World Cup for the first time next year. The Under-19 side's achievement adds further credibility to the country's cricketing strength and depth.
Afghanistan Under-19s, who had stunned Australia in their previous game, ensured their progress after beating Namibia Under-19s in their last Group B match. The win took Afghanistan to four points, and the fact that they reached their 193-run target in just 25.3 overs moved their net run rate above that of Bangladesh, who lost to Australia in the other Group B match of the day.
Namibia, who elected to bat, were in trouble early after Sharafuddin Ashraf struck twice in one over to reduce them to 6 for 2. Their captain Gerhard Erasmus scored 84 off 119 balls, with eight fours, but none of the other batsmen in the side made more than 25. Namibia finished on 192 for 9, with medium-pacer Muslim Musa taking three wickets.
Mohammad Mujtaba and Hashmatullah Shaidi made half-centuries at over a run-a-ball, as Afghanistan sprinted with an eye on their net run rate. Mujtaba scored 50 off 30 balls, and added 65 with opening partner Usman Ghani before both fell with the score at 65. Ihsanullah then added 42 in 40 balls with Shaidi to take Afghanistan past 100 well before the 15-over stage.
They lost two wickets quickly after that, but Shaidi found an able ally in captain Nasir Ahmadzai, and the pair put on 63 to take them to within 20 runs of victory. Shaidi made 52 in 43 balls, with six fours and a six, and Ahmadzai finished on an unbeaten 32-ball 39. For Namibia, seamer Bredell Wessells picked up four wickets.