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Afghanistan’s World Cup hopes all but over after Hong Kong loss

Skipper shines: West Indies captain Jason Holder made 99 on Thursday
AFP

Harare (AFP) – Afghanistan crashed to their third straight World Cup qualifying defeat at the hands of Hong Kong on Thursday, while captain Jason Holder led the West Indies to victory over Papua New Guinea.

After losses to Scotland and Zimbabwe, new Test side Afghanistan’s hopes were hanging by a thread, but they collapsed to 195-9 in pursuit of 242 to beat Hong Kong, with rain ensuring a 30-run defeat on DLS method.

Victory for Hong Kong in either of their two remaining Group B matches against Scotland and Nepal would see Rashid Khan’s much-fancied Afghan outfit fail to even reach the Super Six stage.

Scotland became the first team to book their spot in the next round after beating Nepal by four wickets to make it three wins from three.

Another triumph for the Scots in their final group game against hosts Zimbabwe would leave them well-placed to claim one of the last two slots for next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

An excellent unbeaten 99 from Holder led the Windies to a six-wicket win against Papua New Guinea, after the two-time World Cup champions had slipped to 58-4 while chasing 201 for a second consecutive victory in Group A.

Ireland remain top of the table on net run rate despite not playing on Thursday, while the United Arab Emirates look set to progress after a six-wicket win over the Netherlands.

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