Seamers Naveen-ul-Haq and Hamid Hassan took three wickets apiece to help Afghanistan crush Namibia by 62 runs in the Twenty20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and keep alive their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.
Naveen-ul-Haq did the early damage with the new ball to derail Namibia’s chase while Hassan ran through the middle order as their opponents could only muster 98-9 in reply to Afghanistan’s 160-5.
Seamer Gulbadin Naib also picked up 2-19 in an inspired medium pace bowling performance from the Asian side.
It was the second Super 12 win for the Afghans, who stayed second in Group Two behind Pakistan, who have won all three of their matches.
Naveen-ul-Haq dedicated his player-of-the-match award to former captain Asghar Afghan, who retired from international cricket after Sunday’s victory.
“I made my debut under his captaincy, so I want to dedicate it to him,” the 22-year-old said at the presentation ceremony.
Earlier, Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad gave Afghanistan a solid start with a 53-run opening stand after captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and opted to bat.
Shahzad was happy to let Zazai take the initiative and farm most of the strike in the powerplay overs and went on the attack after his partner was out after a 27-ball knock of 33.
Afghan, who was given a guard of honour by Namibia’s players as he walked on to bat in his final appearance for Afghanistan, kept the scoreboard ticking after Shahzad had been dismissed for 45 off 33 balls.
The former captain’s final innings was a useful 31 off 23 balls and he combined in a handy stand with current skipper Nabi to help Afghanistan up their scoring rate in the final overs.
An emotional Afghan was given another guard of honour by his team mates as he walked off after getting out caught at short third man while trying a reverse scoop shot off Ruben Trumpelmann.
Nabi remained unbeaten on 32 off 17 balls.