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Afghanistan close to securing WC berth

Afghanistan close to securing WC berth

Afghanistan beat Bermuda by 60 runs in a qualifying match.

Potchefstroom (South Africa): Afghanistan inched closer to booking their berth in the World Cup after they beat Bermuda by 60 runs in a qualifying match, here on Friday.

Afghanistan rode on a scintillating bowling performance from Samiullah Shenwari, who returned with figures of 7-1-28-4 to shot out Bermuda for 179 in 49.3 overs.

Electing to bat first, Afghanistan posted 239 for nine in 50 overs, thanks to Karim Khan (83), Nowroz Mangal (71) and Asghar Stanikzai (38).

Chasing 240, Bermuda had a shaky start as they lost both their openers -- J Edness (1) and Lob Cann (0) -- inside six overs for a score of seven but G Blakeney (68) and SD Outerbridge (62) clubbed together a third-wicket stand of 118 to raise hope of a recovery.

But the duo could not up the tempo, thanks to a tidy bowling by young leg-spinner Samiullah and once they were sent back to the pavilion, the Bermuda batsmen started looking down the barrel and eventually were bundled out for 179 with three balls to spare.

Earlier, Afghanistan suffered a batting collapse and if it wasn't for captain and Man-of-the-Match Nowroz and Karim, they would not have had a competitive total on board.

Karim, who scored 39 against Denmark yesterday, cracked 83 with 10 hits to the boundary to anchor the team before being scalped by JJ Tucker in the 32nd over. However, Nowroz continued the good work and stepped on the gas in the final overs to help Afghanistan score 55 in the last five overs.

For Bermuda, off-spinner Rodney Trott took 2 for 33, while GH O'Brien and R J Trott bagged a couple of wickets each.

Afghanistan will take on Kenya, who beat UAE, on Saturday.

first published:April 03, 2009, 22:10 IST