Hong Kong overcame a more fancied Afghanistan team in a last-ball thriller in Dublin (Ireland), July 21, to book a much sought after berth in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, 2016, to be played in India.

Needing 16 runs in the final over of the match, Hong Kong scraped through but not before giving their supporters risk of heart attacks. Well-set Hong Kong middle-order batsman Mark Chapman, who was cruising on 40 runs (25 balls, five fours, one six), looked good to take Hong Kong home. But he was out caught by Nawroz Mangal at the deep midwicket boundary, off the first ball of Mohammad Nabi’s last over. Advantage Afghanistan.

We did it. Hong Kong celebrate nail-biting win in Dublin. Photo courtesy ICC
We did it. Hong Kong celebrate nail-biting win in Dublin. Photo courtesy ICC

The match moved to climaxing high drama the next four balls: “Two full tosses that yielded 10 runs were followed by a wide and a three turning the game on its head; Babar Hayat rose to the occasion and, suddenly, Hong Kong needed just two runs from two balls,” reported the International Cricket Council match correspondent. “But there was to be another twist as Hong Kong’s Tanwir Afzal ran himself out off the penultimate delivery leaving Hayat on strike with two to win from the final ball of the match and all three possible results (win, loss, tie) still in play.”

Off the last deciding ball of the match, Hayat pierced the off side ring of fielders, and ran the winning two runs to send the Hong Kong contingent to raptures – and their team next spring to India.

India will host the World Twenty20 from the March 11 to April 3, 2016. An Indian cricket board media release on July 21 said Bangalore, Chennai, Dharamshala, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi will be the World Cup venues, with the iconic cricket ground Eden Gardens, Kolkata, scheduled to host the final of one of the most watched sporting tournaments in the world. Sri Lanka is current holder of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup.

For full match report, videos and scores: Drama as Hong Kong clinch qualification spot

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