Although expected to get into the second stage of the competition – only two of the 10 teams will make it to the 10-team 2019 World Cup in England – Afghanistan lost three matches to be left waiting anxiously and praying for a Nepal win.
Nepal didn’t help matters. Their 17-year-old leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, bought by IPL side Delhi Daredevils, took three for 17 to help dismiss Hong Kong for 153 in 48.2 overs. But Nepal were themselves reduced to 66 for 5.
Nepal rallied to defeat Hong Kong by five wickets on Monday, handing Afghanistan a lifeline into the Super Six stage of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers being played in Zimbabwe. The result left the three Group B teams with two points each, but Afghanistan made it due to a superior net run rate.
Rohit Kumar Paudel then hit 48 not out to guide Nepal to 155 for 5. He raised an unbroken 89-run stand with Sompal Kami (37no) to seal victory in 40.4 overs.
Zimbabwe went through as Group B toppers after a thrilling tie versus Scotland. Dismissed for 210 in 46.4 overs, Zimbabwe bowlers fought back to dismiss Scotland for 210 with five balls left. The Africans topped their group with three wins and a tie. Scotland also made it.
In Group A, West Indies continued to show they were pretty much ahead of their rivals at this level in going through to Super Six. The twice former champions eliminated Netherlands by handing them a 54-run defeat under the rain rule. West Indies went through with an all-win record.
West Indies ran up 309/6 in 48 overs with Evin Lewis (84) and Marlon Samuels (73no) leading the way after Chris Gayle smashed a 31-ball 46 with five sixes. Rovman Powell, who hit a century in the last game, made 52.
Ireland hammered the United Arab Emirates by 226 though both teams made it from Group A.
The Super Sixes start on Thursday.
West Indies 309/6 in 48 overs (E Lewis 84, M Samuels 73*) beat Netherlands 167/6 in 28.4 overs (R ten Doeschate 67*, Wesley Barresi 64) by 54 runs (DLS method).
Ireland 313/6 in 44 overs (P Stirling 126, W Porterfield 92; M Naveed 3/84) beat UAE 91 in 29.3 overs (B Rankin 4/15, S Singh 3/15) by 226 runs.
Zimbabwe 210 in 46.4 overs (C Ervine 57, S Sharif 5/33, M Lesk 4/37) tied Scotland 210 all out in 49.1 overs (R Berrington 47, G Cremer 3/21, T Chisoro 3/42).
Hong Kong 153 in 48.2 overs (Nizhakat 47; S Lamichhane 3-17) lost to Nepal 155/5 in 40.4 overs (Rohit Kumar Paudel 48*) by 5 wickets.