Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Afghanistan two wins from place in cricket World Cup

AFP, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Afghanistan can reach the World Cup for the first time if they clinch back-to-back wins over Kenya in Sharjah today and on Friday.

With 15 points from 12 matches, Afghanistan are currently in fourth place in the eight-team World Cricket League.

Leaders Ireland, with 24 points, have already made sure of their place in the 2015 World Cup leaving the United Arab Emirates (18 points) and Afghanistan as the only two teams left in contention to grab the second and final automatic qualifying spot.

The UAE on Sunday defeated Namibia by 135 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in their last group game to move into second spot in the table and eliminate third-placed Netherlands (also 18 points) from the direct qualification race by virtue of having won more matches.

Afghanistan must now beat Kenya in their remaining one-day internationals to pick up maximum points and seize second spot from the UAE.

While the top two sides qualify automatically for the 2015 World Cup, being played in Australia and New Zealand, the bottom six teams in the World Cricket League will receive a second chance to advance at next year’s qualifier in New Zealand, when they will lock horns with Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uganda for the final two spots in the flagship 50-over tournament.

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