Zimbabwe missed out on the Super League stage of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup following a 109-run defeat to Afghanistan at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex in Trinidad and Tobago in what was a straight shootout between the two sides for qualification.
Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat with Suliman Safi hitting 111, before falling to Alex Falao, who took three wickets, to set a target of 262 for the African side.
Zimbabwe, however, was not able to match Afghanistan’s batting power with Matthew Welch hitting 53 and Rogan Wolhouter adding 28. Nangeyalia Kharote ended with figures of 4-30 and Izharulhaq Naveed took 2-28 as Afghanistan restricted Zimbabwe to 152.
The win saw Afghanistan pip Zimbabwe to the second spot in Group C and qualify for the Super League knockout phase.
Elsewhere, Uganda suffered a 326-run loss to India as the Asian side’s star-studded lineup saw them finish top of Group B and head into the Super League as one of the teams to watch.
Uganda’s chase of the tournament’s first 400+ total was a dismal one as six of their batting order failed to score a single run with Rajvardhan Hangargekar and stand-in India captain Nishant Sindhu taking two and four wickets, respectively.
Meanwhile, South Africa was the only one of the three African sides to qualify for the Super League phase after defeating Ireland by 153 runs by DLS method in Tarouba.
Captain George van Heerden struck 111 from 93 balls in a dominant performance while Dewald Brevis struck 96 as South Africa posted a total of 315-7.
Matthew Boast led the South African bowling assault on Ireland taking three wickets for 26 and Liam Adler, who took 3-20 dismissed Ireland’s last two batters as the Europeans finished on 158 all out.
South Africa will face England in the first Super League quarterfinal on January 26 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
In the Plate fixtures, Uganda will play the United Arab Emirates on January 25 at Queens Park Oval and Zimbabwe will play Scotland at the same venue on January 26.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)