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The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 will have new winners on Sunday when number one seeds the Windies and second-seeded Afghanistan will face each other in the final at the Harare Sports Club.

This is the Windies’ maiden appearance in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier after they failed to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 by finishing outside the top eight on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings at the 30 September 2017 cut-off.

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The number of Test-playing nations rose to a round dozen after the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday inducted Afghanistan and Ireland as Full Members following a unanimous vote.

The development comes 17 years after Bangladesh were accorded Test status, and following both the Afghanistan and Ireland boards applying to the ICC to have their status upgraded from Associates.

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The West Indies Cricket Board announced today that Afghanistan will play three Twenty20 and three One-day Internationals on its tour of the Caribbean in May/June this year.

It will be the first time that the Afghans will be playing West Indies in a series on Caribbean soil, although it’s not the first time the team will be playing here. 

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Afghanistan completed a clean sweep against Ireland, winning their third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket match by 28 runs on Sunday.

A blistering knock of 89 by Mohammad Nabi and a quickfire 72 by Mohammad Shahzad in the lower order helped Afghanistan post 233/8 in 20 overs. For Ireland, Kevin O'Brien scalped 4-45 runs while Jacob Mulder took 2-32.

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Afghanistan will look to continue their winning spree when they take on Ireland in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Sunday. Ireland, who was outplayed by Afghanistan in the last two games will be looking to make amends across departments to win the last match of the series.

The second match, which was affected by rain, saw Najeeb Tarakai's 58-ball 90, including seven fours and five sixes, to post an imposing 184/8 in 20 overs which proved too much for Ireland, who fell 17 runs short on Duckworth-Lewis (DLS) method in the chase.

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For the second time in the series the weather played Zimbabwe a very bad hand as they went down in the final and deciding ODI to Afghanistan by 106 runs in almost farcical circumstances, with a Duckworth-Lewis ruling, losing the series three-two.

Zimbabwe paid the penalty for a mediocre bowling and fielding display when rain cut 28 overs from their innings and forced them to chase a very difficult target in less favourable batting conditions. The loss of early wickets soon turned the very difficult into the impossible, the batsmen did not handle the situation wisely or well, and it was a sad end to what had appeared to be a revival in the Zimbabwe team’s play and fortunes.

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Zimbabwe put in one of their best all-round performances today at Harare Sports Club to beat Afghanistan convincingly by seven wickets and draw level with the tourists at two victories each in the five-match one-day international series.

First Zimbabwe bowled the shell-shocked tourists out for a feeble innings of 111, and then a fine opening stand between Solomon Mire and PJ Moor made victory almost certain before a wicket fell.

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