The Afghans not only qualified for the ICC 2019 World Cup but also managed to beat West Indies by 7 wickets in the final of World Cup Qualifier at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
First, I wish to put it on record that Zimbabwe Cricket is disappointed and feels the pain of the fans and the entire nation following our national team's failure to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
In the 34th and final match of the tournament on Sunday, Afghanistan beat the West Indies by seven wickets with a competent display in the field and with the bat to lift the prestigious silverware.
For Afghanistan, Rashid Khan picked up three wickets for 40 runs and is now just one wicket away from becoming the quickest bowler to 100 ODI wickets.
The side includes three players each from Afghanistan and the Windies, two from Zimbabwe, two from Scotland and one from Ireland.
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With everything working for them, Afghanistan needed a win in their final Super Six match to qualify and they did that by beating Ireland by five wickets.
The West Indies booked their spot in next year's tournament in England earlier in the week.
All will be guaranteed at least nine games compared to the three played by India, the sport's commercial superpower, at the 2007 edition in the West Indies where they lost in the first round. "I don't think it can get any bigger for Afghanistan", he said. We had to win this game.
They seem to forget that what's ahead are cricket's best.
While disappointed, captain William Porterfield was also concerned about the future of the other teams who missed out, fuelling debate about the International Cricket Council's move to reduce the Cricket World Cup to 10 teams from 14.
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Then, moulded by the dramatic events of the tournament thereafter (read Zimbabwe-UAE clash), they were given a chance to play a winner-takes-all contest against Ireland and seemed set to canter to victory before taking an agonisingly longer route to delirium.
Buoyed by a warm-up and Super Six victory over the Windies already in the tournament, Afghanistan started positively when Mujeeb claimed talismanic opener Chris Gayle for 10 in the sixth over, caught by Sharafuddin Ashraf running around from point after mis-cuing one that spun across him.
Simmons said he had been wary of Ireland as he was aware they were formidable foes.
All-rounder Rovman Powell top-scored with 44, left-hander Shimron Hetmyer chipped in with 38 while Evin Lewis got 27 and Ashley Nurse struck an unbeaten 26 towards the end.
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