Mangal ton sets up comprehensive Afghanistan win
Afghanistan 203 for 3 (Mangal 112*, Shenwari 55*) beat Scotland 199 for 8 (Berrington 51, Gulbodin Naib 4-31) by seven wickets
Afghanistan cruised to a seven-wicket win over Scotland, riding on an unbeaten maiden century from opener Nawroz Mangal and a fifty from Samiullah Shenwari, in their ICC World Cricket League championship match in Dubai.
Chasing a target of 200, Afghanistan suffered an early setback after Iain Wardlaw had opener Mohammad Shahzad caught behind in for 19 in the third over. Asghar Stanikzai and Rahmat Shah also fell cheaply and in the 13th over Afghanistan were 59 for 3.
Mangal and Shenwari dispelled any fears of a collapse, though, sharing an unbeaten, match-winning stand of 144 runs. Mangal raced to his century, going from 73 to 103 in the space of eight balls. He hit three sixes and a four, taking 25 runs off Preston Mommsen in the 30th over and then dispatched the fourth ball of the 31st over for a four to bring up his hundred. His positive intent rubbed off on Shenwari, who also opened up with a flurry of boundaries to bring up his fifty and take Afghanistan to victory in the 34th over.
Afghanistan's bowlers had played their part in the victory by stifling Scotland after they had chosen to bat, with Gulbodin Naib, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan making early inroads. Matt Machan and Richie Berrington tried to consolidate the innings by adding 99 runs in 160 balls, but Machan's wicket triggered a collapse as Berrington and Mommsen were dismissed in quick succession. Scotland were reduced to 141 for 5 from 133 for 2 and some tight bowling from Afghanistan ensured the batsmen struggled for runs in the final overs. Naib took 4 for 31 in nine overs while Hassan and Zadran picked up two wickets each.