Afghanistan reach Super Eight, end New Zealand hopes

The Afghans progressed from Group C with co-hosts West Indies, who they meet in their final round-robin match in St Lucia on Monday.

By Web Desk
June 14, 2024
Afghan players celebrating after taking a wicket against Papua New Guinea in this image from June 14, 2024.— XESPNCricInfo

Afghanistan beat Papua New Guinea by seven wickets in Trinidad on Thursday to reach the Super Eight stage of the Twenty20 World Cup with a game to spare and end New Zealand's slim hopes of progressing.

Spearheaded by Fazalhaq Farooqi (3-16), the Afghan bowlers restricted their opponents to a two-figure score for the third time in three matches in the tournament so far, dismissing the winless Papuans for 95.

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Penetrating bowling from Alei Nao and Semo Kamea on a lively surface ensured the run chase was not straightforward but Gulbadin Naib's 49 from 36 deliveries steered the Afghans safely to their target at 101-3 inside 16 overs.

Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan won the toss and chose to bowl and although Farooqi quickly made his mark with two wickets in his first over, PNG skipper Assad Vala set the tone for his team's innings with the first of four run-outs.

The Afghans progressed from Group C with co-hosts West Indies, who they meet in their final round-robin match in St Lucia on Monday.

Teams:

Papua New Guinea (Playing XI): Tony Ura, Assad Vala(c), Lega Siaka, Sese Bau, Hiri Hiri, Chad Soper, Kiplin Doriga(w), Norman Vanua, Alei Nao, John Kariko, Semo Kamea.

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan(c), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi.

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