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Afghanistan reach world qualifier

The World Cup trophy
The top four sides at the qualifier will reach the World Cup

Afghanistan and Uganda have booked their places in the final qualifying event for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

They pipped Papua New Guinea to the top two spots in the World Cricket League Division Three on net run-rate.

The World Cup Qualifier will take place in South Africa in April, with the top four sides qualifying for 2011.

Ireland and Scotland will also take part, along with the Netherlands, Kenya, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Canada, Oman and Namibia.

The top six sides in the Qualifier will secure full one-day international status for the next four years, as well as automatic qualification for the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

Afghanistan captain Norooz Mangal hit 70 as they wrapped up an 82-run win against the Cayman Islands in their final game.

Having battled through three tournaments on three continents to reach this stage, he said: "Today is a very big day in the history of Afghanistan cricket.

"It was very special to get the man-of-the-match award as my innings was important for my team but all the team played well.

"I think if we all work very hard in the next couple of months we have a very good chance of making it to the World Cup in 2011."

Cricket's popularity in Afghanistan has soared since the overthrow of the Taleban regime in 2001.

Afghanistan captain Norooz Mangal
Today is a very big day in the history of Afghanistan cricket

Captain Norooz Mangal
Two of their players, Mohammad Nabi and Hamid Hassan - who took seven wickets between them against the Caymans - have had spells in England with the MCC Young Cricketers scheme.

Meanwhile, Uganda all-rounder Kenneth Kamyuka was chosen as the player of the tournament in Division Three, after scoring 38 and taking 3-26 in their crucial 99-run victory over Argentina.

"We have a lot of work to do ahead of the qualifier. Although our bowling and fielding has been good we need to improve our batting," said Uganda coach Ebrahim Mohamed.

"Kamyuka is very talented and he has performed excellently during this week. With some hard work I think he could become a very good player in the future."

Argentina and the Cayman Islands are both relegated to Division Four.

ICC World Cup Qualifier (South Africa, 1-19 April)

Group A: Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Oman, Nambia, Uganda

Group B: Kenya, Netherlands, Bermuda, UAE, Denmark, Afghanistan

Fixtures to be released shortly

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see also
Heroes' welcome for Afghan team
14 Oct 08 |  South Asia
Afghanistan coach eyes World Cup
11 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Afghans totally outclass Jersey
06 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Kabul to Lord's
05 Jul 06 |  Cricket
Afghans make England tour debut
11 Jun 06 |  Cricket
Afghans receive cricket boost
12 Aug 03 |  Cricket
Afghanistan on historic tour
09 May 01 |  Cricket

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