Afghanistan get one foot in Intercontinental Cup final
Afghanistan have seucred themselves an almost certain spot in the final of the Intercontinental Cup after a big win over Namibia ion Windhoek.
Batting first after winning the toss, Namibia struggled against some tight Namibian bowling, losing wickets in groups at regular intervals in their innings. Mohammad Nabi was in particularly good form, taking 6-33 as Namibia were bowled out for 190. Stephen Baard made the only significant contribution to the Namibian innings with 72.
Asghar Stanizkai took five catches in the innings, the first time an outfielder has done so in the nine year history of the Intercontinental Cup.
Afghanistan's reply was built around a patient 127 from Asghar Stanikzai as they scored 354, easily securing a first innings lead. Nawroz Mangal (59) and Dawlat Zadran (50) aalso chipped in with important runs, whilst Bernard Scholtz wheeled away for Namibia, taking 5-123 from his 40 overs.
Facing an innings defeat, Namibia only just managed to avoid it with an innings of 168. Captain Sarel Burger top scored with an unbeaten 44 and Pikky Ya France scored 34, with the next highest score being 15. Izatullah Dawlatzai did the damage with the ball for Afghanistan this time, taking 5-23 in 10.5 overs, finishing off the innings with a hat-trick.
That set a target of just five for Afghanistan, which they polished off in just seven balls. That almost secured their place in the Intercontinental Cup final against Ireland. The only way they can miss that final is if Scotland take all 20 points against Ireland and Kenya take all 20 points when Afghanistan play them in September.