• Afghanistan v Scotland, WCL Championship, Sharjah

Afghanistan harm Scotland World Cup hopes

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Afghanistan 261 for 5 (Nabi 51) beat Scotland 259 for 9 (Coetzer 133, Davey 64) by five wickets
Scorecard

Afghanistan drew level with Scotland in second in the ICC's WCL Championship table after a five-wicket win that boosted their hopes of securing automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup.

A second defeat to the same opponents in three days, meanwhile, was a significant blow to Scotland's chances of finishing in the top two.

Despite Kyle Coetzer's run-a-ball 133, only three other batsmen got into double figures as Scotland made 259 from their 50 overs. Afghanistan put on several solid partnerships, with the lowest score among the top six being 28, and Mohammad Nabi rattled off 51 from 44 balls to put them on the brink of victory. A few blows from the powerful Gulbodin Naib were enough to finish the game with eight balls to spare.

Nabi had earlier taken two wickets but Scotland will rue not having made a more challenging total after reaching 144 for 1 in the 32nd over. Coezter and Josh Davey (64) had combined for a second-wicket partnership of 134 but Hamid Hassan broke the stand and Samiullah Shenwari (3-42) ripped out the middle order. Dawlat Zadran took two wickets and also ran out Coezter to prevent Scotland getting away.

Ireland lead the WCL Championship with 13 points, with Scotland and Afghanistan on 11, having played two games more. Netherlands, in fourth, face Namibia next month, while fifth-placed UAE host Ireland later in March. There will be a further two rounds of games, with the top two teams guaranteed a spot at the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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