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Afghanistan, Ireland, Dutch into T20 playoffs

March 20, 2012 20:08 IST

Afghanistan beat Bermuda by 15 runs to remain undefeated and book its place alongside Ireland and the Netherlands in the playoffs at the World Twenty20 qualifier, the Associated Press reports.

Afghanistan, which topped Group A, will play Namibia, if the latter beat Italy later and finished undefeated and top of Group B.

The Netherlands, which defeated Hong Kong by 38 runs, finished runner-up in Group A. Ireland, after topping Oman by 44 runs, finished second in Group B.

Canada and Nepal are meeting for the third and final playoff spot in Group A. Canada led Nepal by two points so a victory would see it through.

In Group B, Scotland could advance to the playoffs which begin on Thursday with a win over the United States. Kenya beat Uganda by 48 runs to keep alive its slim hopes. It needed Scotland to lose and then hope it had a better net run rate.

On Thursday, Afghanistan and Namibia will play for one of the two open spots in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September. The loser of that match then plays the eventual winner between the second and third-place teams.

Defending champion Afghanistan needed a victory to ensure finishing above the Netherlands here.

Afghanistan reached 177-5 then limited Bermuda to 162-7. Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad slammed three fours and five sixes in a 38-ball 64 not out.

Shahzad, together with Mohammad Nabi, put on 56 for the fourth wicket before Shahzad was involved in an unbeaten 47-run, sixth-wicket partnership with Gulbodin Naib, who smashed three sixes and a four in an eight-ball 26 not out.

In turn, Bermuda's Janeiro Tucker belted four straight sixes off Samiullah Shenwari in an electrifying 16-ball 37.

Fiqre Crockwell was the other notable with 34 off 40 balls with three fours.

"I'm feeling very good because we won seven of seven matches and the boys are playing very good," Nabi said.

"Inshalla, we will try hard to qualify for the World Cup. If we qualify, we will show to the ICC that we are very good," he added.

Ireland, which needed a win to secure second place outright in Group B, easily beat winless Oman.

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