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August 11, 2013
Afghanistan 199 for 5 (Shahzad 62, Nabi 46*) beat Namibia 193 (Baard 67, Pitchers 57, Hamid 4-32) by 5 wickets
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi's 23-ball 46 ensured Mohammad Shahzad's half-century and Hamid Hassan's 4 for 32 were match-winning efforts despite a middle-order collapse against Namibia in Windhoek.
Namibia began well, with Xander Pitchers involved in two half-century stands, with wicketkeeper Raymond van Schoor and No. 3 Stephan Baard. Baard took over after Pitchers was stumped for 57. Hamid Hassan brought Afghanistan back when he bowled top-scorer Baard for 67, which triggered a massive collapse. Namibia slumped from 174 for 3 to 193 all out as Hassan added three further wickets to his tally.
Chasing 194, Afghanistan began handsomely, Shahzad and Nawroz Mangal putting on 106 runs together. Namibia claimed three wickets in eight balls, including that of Shahzad who had struck seven fours and two sixes on his way to 62. But there were not enough runs to defend as No. 6 Mohammad Nabi smashed 20 in four balls against medium pacer Christi Viljoen and left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz to quell Namibia's hopes. Nabi struck the winning runs, a six off Louis van der Westhuizen and sealed victory with 18 overs to spare.
Afghanistan are placed third on the World Cricket League Championship points table, with Netherlands above them. Table-toppers Ireland have already qualified for the World Cup 2015. All the teams have two matches left to play with the top two sides progressing directly to the showpiece event in Australia, while the rest would have to face-off in a qualifying event next year. The two teams reaching the final of that tournament will move on to the the World Cup.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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