Afghanistan became the final team to get their tournament underway and rolled Uganda for 65 in Trinidad to prevail by 135 runs.
Afghanistan, quarter-finalists at the last edition of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, made a steady start but were rocked by shedding three wickets in four overs inside the powerplay.
Mohammad Ishaq (21) was brilliantly caught by Peter Karoho, Bilal Sayedi (12) was comprehensively bowled and Allah Noor (2) flicked to a fielder as they sank to 40 for three.
The innings hinged on the fourth-wicket stand between captain Suliman Safi and Ijaz Ahmadzai, who took the game away from PNG with a partnership of 105.
They struck a perfect balance between attack and defence and dealt primarily in boundaries, with 44 of Safi’s 62 runs coming from fours and Ahmadzai striking seven fours and a six. They were separated by Katenalaki Singi at 145/4 and his superb spell of 4/18 from five overs helped bowl Afghanistan out for 200 in 38.2 overs.
PNG, appearing at the event for the eighth time, never looked likely to chase it down and it was downhill from the moment that Karoho was bowled on the first ball of the innings.
The Afghan attack all excelled and emerged with remarkable figures, with Naveed Zadran taking 2/9 from five overs and Nangeyalia Kharote 2/5 from three. With number eight Aue Oru top-scoring with 13, PNG were dismissed for 65 from 20.5 overs. Next up for Afghanistan is rivals Pakistan on Thursday, who PNG then face on Saturday.
WEDNESDAY 19 JANUARY MATCHES
India v Ireland, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago
Australia v Scotland, Conaree Cricket Center, St Kitts and Nevis
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