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Cricket minnows Afghanistan kept alive their dream of a place at the 2011 World Cup with a shock 22-run victory over Ireland on Saturday.

The team that has risen from the fifth division to the final qualifying tournament for places beside giants like title holders Australia, South Africa and India, made 218-7 in their alloted 50 overs.

And Ireland, who began as hot favourites after five consecutive first-round wins, were restricted to 196 in 47.3 overs with medium bowler Hameed Hasan the five-wicket hero.

"It is an unbelievable feeling. Ireland were playing some cross-batted shots so I knew if I bowled straight I would have a good chance. I'm happy with my performance and really pleased with all the team," said Hasan.

"Ireland has beaten big teams like Pakistan so I am very happy that we managed to beat them. I know that people back home will be very happy.

"After losing three games in a row we learnt a lot about our batting, bowling and fielding and everybody has worked very hard at their game," he said.

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