It's Irish v Afghans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 15, 2010

It's Irish v Afghans

Afghanistan's fairytale story in the world of cricket continued on Saturday as they defeated hosts United Arab Emirates to reach their first major tournament, the World Twenty20 finals in the West Indies which runs from April 30 to May 16.
Later Ireland took the other remaining ticket on offer to the Caribbean by beating the Netherlands by 65 runs.
Both Afghanistan and Ireland meet in Saturday evening's final with the winner joining India and South Africa in Group C in the finals while the runner-up will play its Group D matches in Guyana against the West Indies and England.
The Afghans won by four wickets, restricting UAE to 100-9 off their 20 overs -- Mohammad Nabi taking 3-17 -- and then reaching their target in 19.3 overs with opener Noor Ali topscoring with 38 not out.
It is a remarkable feat by the Afghans -- most of whom learnt to play cricket in refugee camps over the Pakistan border -- as they were in the fifth division of the world cricket league just two years ago.
Afghanistan, who showed their talent when they came within one place of reaching the 2011 World Cup finals, were joined by Ireland who competed in the most recent World Twenty20 in England and also in the 2007 World Cup.
The West Indies will hold many pleasant memories for Ireland fans as their team made it to the Super Eight stage in that event three years ago.
Ireland ensured their place in the finals by setting the Netherlands a tough task with a total of 151 for six off their 20 overs with the Dutch 86 all out.
Alex Cusack, who contributed 65 to Ireland's total, was man of the match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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