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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.

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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.

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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.

Ireland chokes

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:

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