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Ireland and Afghanistan claim World T20 spots

Ireland and Afghanistan booked their places in the World T20 with victories in their final group games in qualifying.

Paul Stirling, right, celebrates a wicket with skipper Will Porterfield, as Ireland secure qualification for the World T20 in BangladeshMiddlesex all-rounder Paul Stirling scored 77 and then took 4-10 as Ireland recorded a comprehensive 85-run victory over Hong Kong, while Samiullah Shenwari took five wickets in Afghanistan’s 34-run defeat of Kenya.

Stirling shared a 91-run opening-partnership with Will Porterfield, while Kevin O’Brien added an unbeaten 62 from just 27 balls as Ireland posted 207 for four in the contest between first and second in Group A.

Hong Kong had looked well set on 92 for three at their half way stage but added just 30 more runs as the last seven wickets fell in 7.1 overs.

Afghanistan, who knew a win would be enough to see them qualify from Group B in first place ahead of the Netherlands, struggled to 148 for nine, with Noor Ali Zadran’s half-century and 30 and 33 from Karim Sadiq and Najibullah Zadran respectively.

But a sensational bowling display from Shenwari, who took 5-13, helped skittle Kenya for 114.

Ireland and Afghanistan will take their places in the finals at Bangladesh, which gets under way in March 2014.

Hong Kong will compete in the play-offs, which will see a further four teams qualify for the finals from the teams who finished between second and fifth in each pool, but Kenya's chances are over after they finished in sixth place in Group B.

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