Afghanistan rounded off a wonderful World Cup qualifying tournament by beating the West Indies in the ceremonial final in Harare.
Both teams had qualified for the global event in 2019, but Afghanistan enhanced their growing stature with a comprehensive seven-wicket win, with almost 10 overs remaining.
Mohammad Shahzad’s 84 off 93 balls and 51 from Rahmat Shah did most of the damage as they chased just 205 for the morale-boosting victory over a side that boasts an array of big-name stars.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan took the one wicket he needed to smash the record for being the fastest to take 100 ODI wickets. The 19-year-old superstar trapped Shia Hope for 23 for his milestone wicket in his 44th one-day match, besting by eight – the record held by Mitchell Starc who took 52 to reach 100.
If Rashid’s trajectory continues, he is going to be even better: he took 26 matches to reach 50 wickets, and just 18 for his next 50.
But it was off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman who stole the limelight with four wickets, including the ever-dangerous but misfiring Chris Gayle, for 10.
Gayle has scored just 236 in nine innings for the West Indies, and that includes 123 against the United Arab Emirates.
Rovman Powell was top-scorer with 44.
Photo: via ICC