Nairobi: Afghanistan thrashed Kenya by 167 runs on Tuesday to top the standings in the ICC Intercontinental Cup tournament and book their place in the final against Scotland in November.
The Afghans, who are competing in the first class tournament for the first time build on a solid first innings lead total of 464, and a big contribution of 168 from skipper Nawroz Mangal, to dominate the match.
Kenya put up some resistance on the third day to finish on 324 but the tight Afghan bowling attack led by medium-pacer Hamid Hassan, who grabbed five wickets in the second innings, snuffed out all local hopes after dimissing the Kenyan tail-enders to ensure an early end to the match.
After the victory Afghanistan coach Rashid Latif said his team should start as favourites against Scotland in the United Arab Emirates in November to complete a remarkable rise to their game.
"We beat Scotland by a huge margin of 229 runs in August and I am sure we will be able to repeat that performance again," Latif said.
"We are a very disciplined side. We play as a unit and we never rely on one player," he added. "I thank the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the support that they have offered to Afghanistan for the last three to four years. Cricket is now the hope for whole of the nation."
Latif said he hoped his side will beat Kenya in the three one-day series which starts on Thursday, to complete their first ever tour of the country on a high note. The Kenyans will, however, play the series under a new captain -- Jimmy Kamande, who replaced Morris Ouma who resigned his position after the Afghan defeat.