Afghanistan qualify for World Twenty20
Dubai: Afghanistan booked their place in the 2012 World Twenty20 today with a 47-run victory over Namibia in the first final of the 16-nation qualifying tournament.
In a battle of two undefeated teams, Afghanistan were bowled out for 146 in their 20 overs before Namibia were dismissed for 99 in the 19th over.
Despite the loss, Namibia will get a second chance of making the World Twenty20 when they face either Ireland or the Netherlands in Saturday`s second qualifying final.
Afghanistan, who also played in the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, saw openers Karim Sadiq (28) and Javed Ahmadi (24) give their side a flying start with a partnership of 57 by the seventh over.
But Namibia slammed the brakes on the scoring rate with skipper Sarel Burger taking with 3 for 16.
However, the African side never recovered from a precarious 18 for four by the fourth over with seamer Dawlat Zadran boasting figures of 3 for 1 off his first two overs.
Burger and Nicholaas Scholtz, with 22 runs each, gave a little middle-order impetus, but Afghanistan were simply too powerful in all departments as they coasted to a place in the finals in Sri Lanka in September and October.
Right-arm fast bowler Aftab Alam claimed 4 for 25, sweeping up the tail in the process.
Earlier, Ireland swept past Canada in the play-offs, winning by 10 wickets while the Netherlands edged out Scotland by three wickets.
Ireland will face the Dutch tomorrow with the winner of that game taking on Namibia on Saturday for the second available berth in Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan and the winner of Saturday`s final play-off will meet in the tournament finale on Saturday night.
The winner will be slotted into Group B in Sri Lanka alongside Australia and the West Indies with the runner-up going into Group A against India and defending champions England.