Rain keeps Afghan WC dream alive
Afghanistan's dreams of playing at the 2011 World Cup were saved by torrential rain which swept across the Argentine capital on Friday.
Their final World Cricket League Division Three match against the Cayman Islands was abandoned when they were just 28 runs from a defeat which could have ended their hopes of reaching the World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa in April.
Afghanistan got off to a terrible start losing openers Shafiqullah Shafaq and Karim Khan when the score was on 17.
Rais Ahmadzai and Mohammad Nabi fell within the space of four balls to Saheed Mohammed, leaving the Afghans, who started the day's play on top of the six-nation table, struggling on 47-5.
Skipper Narooz Mangal (26 not out) then led a mini recovery to 68-5 off 31 overs, before rain halted proceedings.
Once the sun returned, the Cayman Islands were set an adjusted target of 63 off 20 overs under the D/L method to win.
Although Ainsley Hall fell in the opening over, three fours in one Hamid Hassan over by Keneil Irving looked to have set them on the way to a shock victory.
But rain was to be Afghanistan's saviour, as a late downpour left the umpires with no choice but to take the players off the field forcing the abandonment of the game.
Both sides will return on Saturday to start a new match.
Uganda, who also have a chance of qualifying, had their match abandoned when they were struggling at 69-4 against hosts Argentina.
Papua New Guinea, the third team in contention for the April qualifier, ended Hong Kong's hopes with a nine-wicket win and they will wait nervously for the outcome of Saturday's replayed matches.
They have eight points while Afghanistan and Uganda are currently on six, leaving the possibility of run rate deciding the two qualifiers.
Hong Kong, who started play with an outside chance of finishing in the top two, never recovered from a disastrous start against PNG and were dismissed for 91.
PNG openers Vani Morea (41 not out) and Chris Amini (38) boosted their side's run rate which had been seriously damaged following Wednesday's eight-wicket defeat to Afghanistan.