Afghanistan v Kenya, WCL Championship, Sharjah October 4, 2013

Afghanistan secure World Cup berth

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 96 for 3 (Nabi 42*) beat Kenya 93 (Ouma 39, Hotak 3-19) by seven wickets
Scoecard and ball-by-ball details

Afghanistan secured their passage to Australia and New Zealand in 2015 by beating Kenya comprehensively for the second time in succession in Sharjah, sealing their maiden World Cup qualification. They finished second in the World Cricket League Championship - nine wins in 14 matches - and joined Ireland as the second Associate team in the 2015 World Cup, while the remaining two spots for Associates will be decided by a qualifying tournament in New Zealand in 2014.

Afghanistan had to beat Kenya to prevent UAE from gaining qualification and their bowlers delivered once again. Having dismissed Kenya for 89 on October 2, Afghanistan skittled them for 93 today, ensuring their batsmen had a facile target to achieve their World Cup goal. They did it in 20.5 overs to reach their third global tournament, having appeared in the World Twenty20s in 2010 and 2012.

Before their wickets began to tumble, however, Kenya had been stifled: their run rate was less than one during the first 15 overs. Karim Sadiq provided Afghanistan their first wicket, trapping Irfan Karim lbw in the sixth over for 3 off 27 balls. The second came one over later, with Mohammd Nabi bowling the debutant Gurdeep Singh for 1 off 23 deliveries. Gurdeep, at 15 years and 258 days, was the second youngest player to appear in an ODI.

Morris Ouma had just struck the innings' first boundary, off the last ball of the 16th over, when he lost his partner Collins Obuya the next ball. Their partnership of 9 had taken seven overs, leaving the innings with no momentum. Kenya then had their largest stand - 53 between Ouma and Rakep Patel for the fourth wicket - but after that was broken when Patel missed a cut off Hamza Hotak, there was no more resistance.

Ouma followed for 39 an over later - run out by Samiullah Shenwari - and Hotak and Hamid Hassan made short work of the lower order. Afghanistan took seven wickets for 24 to dismiss Kenya in 43.3 overs. It was Kenya's third sub-100 score against Afghanistan in five days; they had been routed for 56 in the Twenty20 on September 30.

Needing only 94 to join cricket's elite at the World Cup, Afghanistan's chase began poorly when they lost the opener Mohammad Shahzad for 1 in the second over. They scored slowly too, but their bowlers had given them the luxury of being able to do so while seeing off the new ball. By the time the umpires took the players off for lunch, Nawroz Mangal and Asghar Stanikzai had taken the team to 24 for 1 in nine overs.

Mangal found the long-off boundary in the first over after the resumption, which went for nine runs to give Afghanistan impetus. However, they were jolted severely in the 11th, Shem Ngoche bowling Stanikzai with the first ball and trapping Mangal lbw with the last to reduce Afghanistan to 34 for 3.

Any worries of a collapse, however, were allayed by Mohammad Nabi and Hashmatullah Shaidi, who shared a 62-run stand for the fourth wicket to kill the contest. Nabi was aggressive, scoring at nearly a run a ball and accelerated towards the finish with two huge sixes. He sealed the World Cup berth with a smash to the midwicket boundary.

They will join Pool A at the World Cup along with Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and another qualifier. Afghanistan's progress means that Netherlands, UAE, Scotland, Kenya, Namibia, Canada, Uganda, Hong Kong, Nepal and Papua New Guinea will have to compete for the last two Associate berths.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Isabel on October 7, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Having seen Afghanistan win Division 5 in Jersey only 5 years ago, and following them on Cricinfo since then, I am very pleased but not at all surprised they have been so successful. Very well done.

  • Dummy4 on October 6, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Congratulation to the people of Afghanistan and our National Cricket Team. The remarkable victory and qualification of world cup dream change to reality.

  • Cricinfouser on October 5, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    impressive stuff mate. i wanna see the full match. anyone aware of sites which has it? checked on you tube ay but it's not there!! cheers

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Congratulations Afghan Cricket for two achievements. One: Going into World Cup. Two: Bowling out sorry Kenyan for under 100 in all FOUR matches. Keep it up. To Kenya Cricket: There seems to be no end to the downward trend.

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Afghans can take part in the upcoming T20 cup, if they qualify for the event in November. So, double celebration could be ahead :) All the best.

  • Ahsan on October 5, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    THANK you so much for the crickets fans supporting our cricket team here how sweet you write here and awesome ideas you have about our cricket I HAVE NO WORDS TO THANK YOU PEOPLE FOR KIND WORDS AND YOUR SUPPORT, you know my TEAR is unstoppable when i am reading YOUR comments THANKS MY DEAR ALLAH, now we have the whole world to support our cricket team. PLEASE ICC SUPPORT our team in the preparation for the BIG EVENT !!! THANKS ESPN

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Congrats to All the Afghans wish you very best for WC Best wishes from Bangladesh

  • des on October 5, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    Great achievement by Afghanistan. Congrats from all cricket lovers, hope you become a top international team in future.

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    The dream came true for which we had been waiting for 12 years. How did you achieve it? How was the journey? How passionately we waited? What's cricket? As far as I know, it was late but as we say later is better than never. Well done boys. We stand by you. You are the reason of smiling on those millions of faces who had been crying. What else will we expect??? We just pray for more successful careers of each player. And please ICC and ACC take it serious now. Ireland and Afghanistan have been playing so consistently. I know it is not time for test but at least give them a chance to play the shorter versions more and more.

  • Fawad on October 5, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Congrats to all Afghanistan people. Afghanistan played fantastic innings in 2013 that is why it deserves to play in Asia Cup 2014.