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Afghanistan beats ACT Comets by three wickets

Aftab Alam with the ball and Nawroz Mangal with the bat play starring roles for the visitors

Afghanistan beats ACT Comets by three wickets - Cricket News
Afghanistan pulled off a thrilling three-wicket victory over Cometsin the final over of its game
Afghanistan pulled off a thrilling three-wicket victory over ACT Comets in the final over of its game, which is part of Afghanistan’s ICC High Performance Programme Tour of Australia and New Zealand, on Friday (September 26). 
 
At Manuka Oval in Canberra, handy contributions from the middle order guided the Comets to 266 in 49 overs. Afghanistan then rode on Nawroz Mangal’s gritty half-century to chase down the target in 49.2 overs with three wickets in hand. 
 
Put in to bat, the Comets lost both the openers to Aftab Alam, the right-arm pacer, within eight overs to leave the score at 32 for 2. Mathew Condon then stitched a 71-run third-wicket stand with Andrew Harriott, before falling to Gulbadin Naib in the 23rd over. 
 
Harriott’s half-century was the backbone of the innings as he associated for another 71-run stand with Michael Spaseski. Yamin Ahmadzai eventually dismissed Harriott for a 103-ball 66, comprising five fours and a six. 
 
Spaseski soldiered on even as wickets fell around him. Ahmadzai finally got his man when Spaseski (45 off 57 balls) fell in the 43rd over. If it wasn't for some lusty blows from Daniel Magin (32 not out), the Comets wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the total they did. Alam was the pick among the Afghanistan bowlers with 4 for 41 from nine overs. 
 
Afghanistan’s chase got off to a steady start as Usman Ghani and Mangal added 41 runs for the first wicket before Mitchell Phelps removed Ghani in the ninth over.
 
But Mangal took control of the innings and notched up a crafty half-century, sharing a 96-run third-wicket partnership with Nasir Jamal.  
 
Mangal had added 85 runs off 100 balls before Dukoski ended his innings in the 38th over. Jamal departed after a 71-ball 41 too, and Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan captain, followed suit in the 43rd over. 
 
Afghanistan then needed more than ten an over from the final seven overs. But thanks to some big hitting by Shafiqullah Shafiq (22 off 12 balls) and Gulbadin Naib (22 off 10), Afghanistan went past the target.

To see the scorecard and review the ACT Comets v Afghanistan match in full, please click here
 
Upcoming fixtures: 

September 28 - NSW 2nd XI v Afghanistan
October 2 - Auckland v Afghanistan
October 4 - Auckland v Afghanistan
October 7 - Northern Districts v Afghanistan
October 9 - Northern Districts v Afghanistan

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