Twitter Reactions: Fans salute Afghanistan after they secure a berth in World Cup 2019
Afghanistan became the tenth and final team to qualify for the World Cup next year.
Published - Mar 23, 2018 8:58 pm | Updated - Apr 27, 2018 4:11 pm
The 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers are currently underway in Zimbabwe. Ten teams participated in the championship out of which six teams competed in the Super 6 stage. The teams strained every muscle to finish in the top two teams who would go on to play the main event in England and Wales next year. Afghanistan and the Windies were deemed as the favourites on the eve of the tournament.
The Windies brushed aside Scotland and became the ninth team to enter the World Cup 2019. United Arab Emirate’s victory over Zimbabwe meant that the final game of the Super 6 between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in Harare became a knockout contest. The game eventually turned out to be a humdinger, however, Ashgar Stanikzai’s troops managed to hold on to their nerves and thumped the Irish.
Afghans deliver with the bat despite Stirling blitz
Subsequently, they also qualified as the tenth team for the World Cup 2019. William Porterfield, the Irish captain, won the toss and elected to bat first under overcast conditions. The openers in Porterfield and Paul Stirling stitched together a useful partnership of 53 runs off 92 balls. Meanwhile, Paul Stirling notched up his 16th half-century.
However, Stirling got tangled in a horrendous mix-up, which eventually led to his run out. The wicket jolted the Irish badly as they lost the momentum courtesy some stupendous channels maintained by the Afghan bowlers. They eventually crawled to 209 for seven wickets. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 40 runs. The likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman also tied them down.
During their run-chase, Mohammad Shahzad took the Afghans off to a flier. He notched a blistering half-century, which titled the game in their favour. However, off-spinner Simi Singh scalped him, which set the cat among the pigeons in the Afghan camp. The following batsmen somehow managed to go into their shell. Meanwhile, the required rate steadfastly leapfrogged.
In the last ten overs, the Afghans were faced with a required-rate of nearly a run-a-ball. However, Asghar Stanikzai, the skipper, showed an unruffled temperament and guided his team past the finish line. The fact that he played after an appendix surgery made the knock that much special. Najibullah Zadran extended him decent support and acted an appropriate foil for the Afghan skipper.
Afghanistan will now play the Windies in the final on March 25. Meanwhile, Twitter heaped praises on the Afghans for their stupendous run.
Here are the Tweets and some of the best reactions:
Congratulations Afghanistan on qualifying for the 2019 World Cup. After struggling initially in the tournament, the way they fought back when it mattered the most was quite amazing. Richly deserved. Enjoy the moment @rashidkhan_19 @MohammadNabi007 #AFGvIRE
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 23, 2018
— Gaurav sethi (@thewallwithin) March 23, 2018
— Abu Mustafa (@AbuMustafa_) March 23, 2018
— Ankit Sharma (@Ankit_Sharma187) March 23, 2018
— sifatullah momand (@sifatmomand1) March 23, 2018
Afghanistan in #CWCQ18
First 3 games…
Next 4 games…
— CricketFTS (@CricketFTS) March 23, 2018
What excites me about the Afghanistan team is the fact that how non-Asian teams struggle against spin. Australia, England, NZ, SA are going to have a hell of a time if Afghan maintains their discipline. #AFGvIRE
— Lost Poet (@Ajeeb_Daastaan) March 23, 2018
Asia teams in the cricket world 2019
— Md Mujeebur Rahman (@MujeeburMd) March 23, 2018
— Pawan Kumar (@pawansmd) March 23, 2018
#AFGvIRE #CWCQ #SAvsAUS #FridayFeeling
It wasn't only about their performance but there seemed to be a Divine conspiracy backing Afghanistan throughout the tournament. Struggle, hardwork, patience & hope hatch success.
— Sameer Ahmad Bhat (@sameer1996amad) March 23, 2018
And Afghanistan qualifies for the WC after all the drama in past two weeks…. Deservingly so. Though Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland too deserved to play… Only 10 teams playin WC is such a shame and irrational! #AFGvIRE #ICCWCQ
— Manan. (@VayaManan) March 23, 2018
— Ram Bandi (@ramreddybandi) March 23, 2018
— Sarkar Javaid (@SarkarJavaid) March 23, 2018
Afghanistan out of no where are going to the WORLD CUP! BRILLIANT! Kabul won't be sleeping tonight! Well done lads! This is just the beginning! Bright cricketing future ahead for Afghanistan! #CWCQ #qualifiers #CricketWorldCup #Afghanistan #AFGvIRE
— Mustafa Ismail (@MustiMachine) March 23, 2018
Fortune favours the brave and Afghanistan have made their fortune. Some really talented players there and they have shown really strong character. Tough on Zimbabwe, Ireland and Scotland. #AFGvIRE
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 23, 2018
Always believe in fairy tales. They do come true. If you don’t believe me, ask Afghanistan Cricket Team. Well done boys..see you in 2019 ??
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 23, 2018
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 23, 2018