Afghan, Hong Kong a step closer to world cup

Published: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 18:18 [IST]
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Dar Es Salaam: Afghanistan and Hong Kong sealed promotion from the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 after securing comprehensive victories in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on Friday.

Going into the final day of the group stage, three sides were in contention for promotion but Italy, knowing it needed victory over Afghanistan to finish in the top two of the table, was the team that had its dreams of playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 shattered when it lost by 93 runs.

Hong Kong defeated Jersey by 100 runs to seal second place in the group stages, while Fiji"s dramatic two-run win over Tanzania means that Jersey and Fiji will be relegated to Division 5 on net run-rate, as all three teams were tied on two points.

Now, if Afghanistan and Hong Kong finish in the top two of the six-team Division 3 tournament in Argentina in January, they will join 10 other sides at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, where four Associate or Affiliate Members will qualify for Asia in 2011.

Afghanistan"s Rais Ahmadzai, who was named man of the match after an excellent 68, was delighted with his side"s promotion to Division 3 and said he was determined to win the final against Hong Kong tomorrow.

“We are very happy. It"s true that there was a little bit of tension amongst the guys last night, but the coach said we should go and play positive cricket," said Ahmadzai.

“I was just concentrating on reading the wicket when I came into bat and then hitting the bad balls. The boys have done very well with the bowling, batting and fielding.

“We will try our best to win the final – we"ve already beaten Hong Kong in this tournament and we will try our best to do it again."



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