World Twenty20 Qualifier: Afghanistan overpower Scotland

Mohammad Shahzad
Mohammad Shahzad hit seven sixes in his thrilling innings of 75
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, The Grange, Edinburgh
Afghanistan 210-5 (20 overs): Shahzad 75, Zadran 37, Leask 2-24
Scotland 173 (19.2 overs): Mommsen 44, Cross 37, Nabi 3-25, Hassan 3-29
Afghanistan won by 37 runs
Scorecard (external site)external-link

Mohammad Shahzad led the way with a blistering 75 from 36 balls as big-hitting Afghanistan beat Scotland by 37 runs in the World Twenty20 Qualifier.

Shahzad hit seven of the Afghans' 17 sixes as they posted 210-5 in Edinburgh, their record Twenty20 score.

Preston Mommsen (44) and Matthew Cross (37) batted gamely for Scotland.

But hopes were dashed when skipper Mommsen holed out in the 17th over and the tail folded with little resistance for 173 all out in the final over.

Afghanistan top Pool B with three wins, while Scotland are fourth in the seven-team section with one victory from their three outings.

"The plan was to bowl the majority of the overs with spin and unfortunately we couldn't keep the boundary count down," said Mommsen.

"The important thing is to peak at the right time. We were good against the UAE but not the last two days."

Scotland made a great start, taking the wicket of Nawroz Mangal in the first over but Shahzad soon started hammering the ball all around the ground.

With assistance from Asghar Stanikzai (34), the experienced wicketkeeper departed in the 12th over with Afghanistan on 112.

Najibullah Zadran (37) and Mohammad Nabi (33) then ensured there was to be no let-up in the rapid scoring.

Scotland lost George Munsey for six in the second over of their reply, with Kyle Coetzer (15) and Calum MacLeod (19) soon departing.

Cross played some sweet shots before spooning a full toss from spinner Nabi up in the air for the bowler to gather.

Mommsen's swashbuckling, along with a 24 from Richie Berrington, gave the Scots a glimmer of hope with 58 required from 24 balls, only to be caught in the deep from the bowling of paceman Hamid Hassan.

Nabi and Hassan both finished with three wickets each.

ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier: Group B

Top team in each group qualify automatically for World Twenty20 2016 - and semi-finals

Second, third and fourth-place teams qualify for quarter-finals, with a further four World T20 places available