Afghanistan face India after sealing Twenty20 World Cup qualification

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The Independent Online

Afghanistan beat Ireland by eight wickets in Saturday's qualifying final after both teams clinched the last two places for this year's Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

The Afghans will join India and South Africa in Group C at the April-May tournament while Ireland play alongside hosts West Indies and England in Group D.

"It is a great achievement for these teams," International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. "Afghanistan and Ireland can rightly feel proud of themselves."

It is the first time Afghanistan have qualified for the finals of a major ICC tournament.

Coach Kabir Khan said: "It's a big thing for Afghanistan, for the cricketers and the nation.

"It's quite incredible that 18 months ago the side were winning ICC World Cricket League Division 5. It speaks for itself about how great an achievement it is for the side."

Ireland competed in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup in England and in the 50-over World Cup in 2007.