Afghanistan canter to Qualifier final win

Ireland's World Cup hopes crushed by Afghanistan

Afghanistan and West Indies both secured their places in the 2019 World Cup by finishing atop the 10-team qualifying tournament.

There were some surprises and slip-ups, however, and after Scotland defeated Afghanistan by seven wickets, Hong Kong topped Afghanistan by the Duckworth/Lewis method, Scotland had tied with Zimbabwe, Afghanistan defeated the West Indies, the United Arab Emirates sinking Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan maintaining their dominance over Ireland, the West Indies were, probably, left to thank their lucky stars for reaching the final. "We're cognisant of that and pretty much up for it and ready to beat Afghanistan". "We felt we have done some really good things so far, we have obviously qualified for the World Cup, which was our first priority and obviously, coming into the final, it means a lot to us to finish off the tournament well and win it".

The Caribbean side's single blemish in the month-long tournament came at the hands of the Asian side, when they went down by three wickets in their opening match of the Super Sixes after failing to defend 197. Having finally clinched it by the skin of their teeth against Ireland two days earlier, they were able to play with a new freeness in the ceremonial finale against West Indies.

West Indies batsman Rovman Powell is bowled by Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

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Afghanistan were on the cusp of being eliminated from the qualifiers after they lost their first three matches.

"This trophy is a painful reminder of the dreams we had".

"I don't think we have played the flawless game as yet".

They followed their losses by victories over Nepal, West Indies and UAE.

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Although Scotland could have lost the match, and probably would have lost it, the odds favoured them had the match been completed. "That is good for cricket, says a lot about world cricket and the standard of cricket".

I also wish to extend hearty congratulations to the two finalists on qualifying for the World Cup proper.

Porterfield's side will miss out on the tournament for the first time since 2003 after a five-wicket defeat to Afghanistan in their winner-takes-all qualifier in Harare on Friday.

Simmons said he had been wary of Ireland as he was aware they were formidable foes.

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Buoyed by a warm-up and Super Six victory over the Windies already in the tournament, Afghanistan started positively when Mujeeb claimed talismanic opener Chris Gayle for 10 in the sixth over, caught by Sharafuddin Ashraf running around from point after mis-cuing one that spun across him.

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