Image courtesy: ICC
Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 5 wickets in the semi-final of ICC 2019 world cup qualifier
They lost the first 3 matches of ICC World Cup Qualifier and their change of qualifying for the semi-final diminished.
We always say cricket is a funny game anything is possible. A miracle happens in the gentleman game.
The Miracle turnaround witnessed in Afghanistan fortune from the cusp of being eliminated from a tournament to become 2nd team qualify for the 2019 world cup.
Afghanistan made a remarkable comeback by winning their remaining matches. Which also includes the 2-time world champions West Indies.
But winning their own matches is not enough to fulfill their dream to qualify for the 2019 world cup. Afghan needs luck from other teams to win their matches.
Their prayers worked when the weaker teams Nepal defeated Hong Kong and UAE held their nerves to shock the host Zimbabwe gave Afghanistan ticket to the semi-final.
Magical sensational leg-spinner Rashid Khan is only one scalp away from becoming fastest bowler to take 100 ODI wickets.
This year 2018 is a memorable year for the Afghanistan cricket. Earlier there under 19 teams made the headlines by reaching the semi-final of the Under 19 world cup.
Now the senior team becomes the 2nd team after West Indies to qualify for the 2019 World-cup. Afghanistan becomes the 10th team and 5th Asian team who will playthe world cup in England.
In past 1 year, Afghanistan team has put a bigger stride in the international cricket. Their team is making an impact in the world. Every other international team aware of their achievements.
Their few players already become the star whom the cricket fraternity applauds. Rashid Khan one of those stars who made his mark in the cricket with his sensational performance in IPL 2017 and for his team.
Most of the top class Indian batsman like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, and many more other overseas batsman remain clueless against Afghan leggie. Rashid Khan made the life of batsman miserable with his variation.
The biggest touring point for Afghanistan came when UAE got a miracle win over Zimbabwe which gave Afghanistan lifeline. No one has expected that Zimbabwe lost the match against UAE. Afghanistan chances of qualifying brightened with Zimbabwe loss. They came with full intensity against Ireland and defeated them by 5 wickets to Qualify for the valuable 2019 world cup.
Many players of Afghanistan like Mohammad Shahzad, Captain Stanikzai has stepped up in the crucial match to earn the win for their team. Rashid Khan took 3 wickets and other bowlers support him well to restrict Ireland for 209/7. The hard-fought match won by Afghanistan in last over of the match when captain Stanikzai hit four of the 1st ball in last over.
The emotion of players like Mohammad Shahzad and Rashid Khan has shown when they praise their team spirit
Rashid Khan said“When we were about to not qualify for the Super Sixes it was very disappointing for us because the way we worked hard in the last four or five months for the qualifiers – we weren’t expecting to be in this position,”
Brief score :
IRE 209/7 (50.0 Ovs)
AFG 213/5 (49.1 Ovs)
Note: Mohammad Shahzad Adjudged player of the match for his vital counter attacking 54 runs in the chase
Afghanistan will play against West Indies in the final on 25th March