Afghanistan, powered by Mohammad Nabi (4/20) and Mohammad Shahzad (41) romped to a six-wicket win over Hong Kong in the World T20 qualifier game on Thursday. The Asian minnows and Zimbabwe will now fight for a place in the Super 10 on Saturday. Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will compete for a place in the World Twenty20 Super 10 stage after defeating Hong Kong and Scotland respectively on Thursday.
Afghanistan romped to a six-wicket win over Hong Kong, while Zimbabwe ensured Scotland remained winless in its third World T20 appearance with an 11-run victory.
Afghanistan and Zimbabwe have two victories each in Group B and will meet on Saturday to decide which team joins England, West Indies, South Africa, and Sri Lanka in Super 10 Group 1.
Offspinner Mohammad Nabi grabbed 4-20 as Afghanistan restricted Hong Kong to 116-6 after it won the toss and elected to bat. Opening batsmen Mohammad Shahzad (41) and Noor Ali Zadran (35) put on 70 runs off 64 balls before Afghanistan lost four wickets to reach 119-4 in 18 overs.
Nabi took a career-best 4-17 against Hong Kong last month during Asia Cup qualifiers in Bangladesh, and once again choked Hong Kong top-order batsmen with his offspin. (India thrash West Indies by 45 runs in WT20 warm-up match)
No. 5 batsman Anshuman Rath top-scored with 28 not out as Hong Kong could score only nine boundaries in its innings against some disciplined bowling.
“Pitch conditions were totally slow and I decided to use my variations,” Nabi said. “I’m ready in all situations.”
Earlier, a brisk half-century by Sean Williams and a four-wicket haul by left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza helped Zimbabwe to beat Scotland.
Williams hit 53 off 36 balls as Zimbabwe made 147-7.
Masakadza then took 4-28 as Scotland was bowled out for 136 in 19.4 overs, Richie Berrington top-scoring with 36.
“We have been playing well and the guys are gelling well,” Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said. “The boys are believing a bit more, and that’s paying off.”
After winning the toss and batting first, Zimbabwe ran into trouble at 67-4 in the 11th over before Williams rebuilt the innings, hitting six boundaries.
Hamilton Masakadza was run out for the second successive time in a mid-pitch collision with opening batsman Vusi Sibanda, who resumed his innings after bandaging his chin.
Scotland hit back late in the Zimbabwe innings when Williams holed out at square leg in the 17th over off Safyaan Sharif’s full toss with the score on 128. Zimbabwe added only 19 off the last 18 deliveries.
However, Wellington Masakadza and Tendai Chatara took two wickets each inside the first four overs to reduce Scotland to 20-4 before Berrington added 51 runs with captain Preston Mommsen (31) to narrow the margin of defeat. (AP)