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Afghanistan enters quarter-final with comfortable win

Half-centuries by Mujtaba and Shaidi help side overhaul 193-run target in 25.3 overs to defeat Namibia

Afghanistan enters quarter-final with comfortable win - Cricket News
Mohammad Mujtaba scored his second half-century of the tournament against Namibia.
Afghanistan entered the quarter-finals of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup with a four-wicket win over Namibia in a Group B clash at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2 in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (February 19). With the win, Afghanistan finished second on the points table, behind table-toppers Australia, who it beat by 36 runs on Monday. 

Opting to bat, Namibia scored 192 for 9 in its 50 overs, which turned out to be a fairly easy chase for Afghanistan, which got there in the 26th over, finishing at 196 for 6. Namibia finished at the bottom rung in its group without registering a single win.
 
Namibia's start was dented by Sharafuddin Ashraf, who struck a double blow in the third over to dismiss both the openers. Jaen Kotze and Gerhard Erasmus shared a 42-run stand for the fourth wicket, which was the highest in the innings, before Kotze was dismissed for 18. Muslim Musa ran through Namibia's middle-order, picking up three wickets in his ten overs.

Captain Gerhard Erasmus, however, didn't buckle under pressure and went on to score a 119-ball 84 while no other batsmen crossed the 25-run mark. With wickets falling regularly and no significant partnerships, Namibia finished its 50 overs with 192 to defend.

Afghanistan's openers, Mohammad Mujtaba and Usman Ghani gave the team a quick-fire start, putting up 65 in just 7.5 overs. Both openers, though, were dismissed in the span of four deliveries after the in-form Mujtaba scored his second half-century of the tournament. Hashmatullah Shaidi then collaborated with Ihsanullah for a 42-run stand in 6.4 overs before Ishanullah was dismissed for a 24-ball 31. 
 
Shaidi, who also scored his second half-century in the tournament, shared a 63-run stand with captain Nasir Jamal in 8.3 overs to ensure the chase was on course. Although Bredell Wessells captured four wickets, Jamal remained unbeaten on 39 to take his team home with 24.3 overs to spare.
 
Afghanistan finished below Australia in Group B and will face South Africa in its quarter-final on Sunday in Sharjah.

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