Afghanistan win inaugural Desert T20 Challenge

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Afghanistan secured a comprehensive win over Ireland in the final

Afghanistan secured a comprehensive win over Ireland in the final
Afghanistan secured a comprehensive win over Ireland in the final
Mohammad Nabi delivered the goods once again for Afghanistan as his four-wicket haul helped his side win the inaugural Desert T20 Challenge in thumping fashion.
His four for 10 helped Afghanistan blow Ireland away for just 71 runs in the final in Dubai. The other bowlers too made their marks as Amir Hamza, Fareed Ahmad and Karim Janat all picked up two wickets apiece to leave Ireland in tatters.
In reply, Afghanistan galloped to the target in just 7.5 overs and with 10 overs to spare, with Mohammad Shahzad smacking an unbeaten 52 off 40 balls, while fellow opener Nawroz Mangal (17 off 8) playing second fiddle.
With both bat and ball, Nabi has been one of Afghanistan’s most consistent performers over the course of the eight-team tournament. And he proved again why he is the lynchpin in the Afghanistan team with a stunning spell.
In just fourteen balls, Nabi struck to remove captain William Porterfield, opener Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and number 11 Craig Young and put Afghanistan in complete control.
This after Ireland had won the toss and elected to bat first.
Fareed Ahmad had started the proceedings with the wicket of Stuart Poynter, before Nabi wreaked havoc with three wickets in six balls.
Stirling and Greg Thompson were the only batsmen to get into double digits as Afghanistan proved their mastery in Dubai.
In what was a ‘finals’ day, two semi-finals were played at the same ground earlier in the day. Afghanistan beat Oman by eight wickets in the first game, with Shahzad the best performer with a 60-ball 80.
In the other semi-final, Ireland, buoyed by fifties from Stirling and Gary Wilson had posted a mammoth 211-6 before bowling Scotland out for 113.
Alas, the final did not turn out to be the humdinger that the large crowd gathered had expected, but Afghanistan, the inaugural Desert T20 champions, will have no reasons to complain, having finished the tournament unbeaten.

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