Afghanistan canter to Qualifier final win

2019 Cricket World Cup
Afghanistan

Afghanistan recorded a straight forward seven wicket win over the West Indies in a final tainted by a sense of anti-climax.

The tournament provided plenty of action and excitement but ended in heartbreak and an uncertain future for most of the participants.

Credit must be given the Afghanistan for peaking at the right time as it were, having barely scraped through the group phase before charging through the super six phase and going on to win the final.

The West Indies lacked intensity in the final and batting first failed to make the most of their starts.

Rovman Powell top scored with 44 from number 7 but each of the top five got into double figures but only Shimron Hetmyer (38) got past 30.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman continued his meteoric rise in this tournament having come into the squad after starring in the Under-19 World Cup. He took 4/43 in his 9.5 overs.

As he did against Ireland Mohammad Shahzad took the pressure off the middle-order with an attacking 84 off 93 balls.

Rahmat Shah provided him with excellent support after the departure of Gulbadin Naib (14) early on to Keemo Paul who has impressed in patches for the West Indies having joined the group as a replacement for the injured Sheldon Cottrell.

Chris Gayle got both Shahzad and Rahmat but Samiullah Shenwari (20*) and Mohammad Nabi (27*) eased them over the line.

Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe was awarded the man of the tournament award, a bittersweet accolade for a player who will not feature in the 2019 World Cup.

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