17th match, Dunedin

Afghanistan v Scotland

At Dunedin, February 26, 2015. Afghanistan won by one wicket. Toss: Afghanistan.
In the final over of a pulsating match, and with Afghanistan needing four to win, last man Shapoor Zadran set off for an optimistic single. Scotland's first World Cup victory - in 11 attempts spanning nearly 16 years - was within their grasp: Machan had the stumps in his sights but, with Shapoor scrambling to regain his ground, missed with an underarm throw from a couple of yards. Shapoor flicked the next ball past short fine leg for four, dropped his bat and helmet, and ran 30 yards before slumping to his knees in joy: it had taken Afghanistan only three games to clinch a maiden win. Two sides who risked being culled if the World Cup were reduced to ten teams had produced a frenetic, harum-scarum encounter, the match of the tournament to date. When Berrington and Davey induced a collapse of five for 12, Afghanistan were reeling on 97 for seven. But Samiullah Shenwari, their most technically correct batsman, found allies down the order, adding 35 with Dawlat Zadran and 60 with Hamid Hassan. With 38 required from four overs, Shenwari heaved three sixes over midwicket off Haq, which would have cleared bigger grounds than the University Oval. But, four short of Afghanistan's first World Cup hundred, he perished attempting a fourth. The last pair, Shapoor and Hassan, needed 19 from 19 balls, and for the most part approached their task calmly. They had already worked hard for the win: with fellow pace bowler Dawlat they had collected eight for 99 in 30 overs. Six Scotland batsmen fell between 23 and 31, but a careful ninth-wicket stand of 62 between Haq and Evans ensured a total to test Afghanistan. For so long, it seemed likely to beat them. TIM WIGMORE Man of the Match: Samiullah Shenwari.

© John Wisden & Co