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Published: 16:22 | 23/3/18

Porterfield rues 'gifted' dismissals


Ireland's World Cup bid ended in heartbreak today as Afghanistan won their ‘win and you’re in’ final qualifier by five wickets.

After winning the toss in Harare and batting first, Graham Ford’s side were held to 209/7, leaving their opponents to chase down 210.

It was not to be Ireland's day, even though they managed to limit Afghanistan’s run chase in the second half of a tense innings.

Afghanistan are coached by former Ireland boss Phil Simmons, as they secured the tenth and final place at next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

“We would have liked an extra 25 to 30 runs, and I think two or three of the first four dismissals were a little bit gifted,” Ireland captain William Porterfield said.

"I think if we hold that back, we'd have another 25 runs which makes it a very tight game come the end."

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai, still feeling the after-effects of the emergency appendectomy that ruled him out of Afghanistan's opening five matches of the tournament, said: “I am in too much pain but when you are playing for your country you can deal with pain like that. 

“Today was a very important day, and it was all of Afghanistan's dream to qualify for the World Cup. “This Afghanistan team is famous for coming back after playing badly, because the players are very confident and believe in themselves.”

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