With matches against Namibia and Kenya to end their campaign, it was always thought that Afghanistan would be well in the mix for the second World Cup place available from the World Cricket League Championship, but a poor net run rate was not working in their favour. That has changed with a thumping win over Namibia yesterday in Windhoek.

Namibia won the toss and chose to field first, and would have felt confident when Nawroz Mangal was the first wicket to fall in the fifth over with the score on 15. Any such confidence would soon have evaporated though as Mohammad Shahzad and Karim Sadiq put on 110 for the second wicket.

That partnership ended when Sadiq was out for 50, and Shahzad carried on, first in a 33 run partnership with Asghar Stanikzai for the third wicket and then in a 100 run partnership for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Nabi, as the scoring rate increased. Shahzad was eventually out for 113, but Nabi went on to finish the innings unbeaten on 81 from just 45 balls as Afghanistan made 289-4 from their 50 overs.

Namibia struggled in reply, initially against the pace of Hamid Hassan, and then against the Afghan spin bowlers. Mohammad Nabi completed a fine all-round performance by taking 5-12 as Namibia were bowled out for 99, a 190 run defeat.

The two teams will play again on Sunday, with the Afghans looking to put themselves in a good position heading into the final round of matches.