Thursday, July 18, 2024

Afghanistan Script History, Shock Australia in T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8s

Script History
Afghanistan players celebrate after defeating Australia by 21 runs in their T20 World Cup match at Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday, June 22, 2024. AP

St Vincent, June 23: The Afghanistan cricket team scripted history in T20 World Cup 2024, as they defeated former champions Australia by 21 runs in a Super 8 match on Saturday. Afghanistan put 148/6 on the board while batting first and managed to bowl out Australia for just 127 in 19.2 overs. It was a contrasting performance from the Afghanistan team, that usually rides on the heroics of its spinners. This time, however, it was the pace bowling unit, led by Gulbadin Naib, that produced the emphatic turnaround in the game, and the cricketing universe.
Afghanistan had faced Australia five times before this encounter in all formats, losing all of them. The T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8 clash turned out to be the first time that Afghanistan managed to beat Australia in an international contest. reducing the deficit to 1-5.
Set a target of 149, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls, six fours, three sixes) kept the Test and One-Day champions on course until he became Gulbadin’s third wicket in the 15th over, opening the door to a result which keeps the duel for semi-final spots alive going into the final two fixtures in the group on Monday.
Gulbadin finished with four for 20 from his four overs of medium pace to turn the match as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat to the Afghans in a senior international encounter, being dismissed for 127 with four balls left in the match.
Naib, speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, thanked the almighty to start with, and simply couldn’t stop smiling during the interview as he trying to comprehend the historic moment Afghanistan cricket had hit.
“Thanks to dear Allah. We’ve waited for a long time. Big moment for our nation and our people. I have no words to say but thanks to the fans who have supported us in our career and cricket journey. I learnt from the batting innings on how to bowl. Thanks to Rashid for trusting me. It’s a whole team effort, Rahmanullah, Zadran, and also Naveen for the momentum. Thank God we finally beat Australia. It is a great achievement for Afghanistan, we have achieved many things in last ten years but this is a big achievement. In the last World Cup we played well and in this World Cup we beat New Zealand too,” he said.
“Australia are a champion side so for us it is a big tournament. Lucky to have this kind of team and management. (Bangladesh next at this ground) At the start of the tournament, we focused on each game. Every game is important for us. Bangladesh are a good team, we can rest tomorrow and we’ll think about it,” he concluded. before saying mubarak to his fans in Pashto along with a personalised message.
Earlier, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in as many matches as Afghanistan lost momentum after another century opening stand from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, settling for a total of 148 for six after being put in.
Both teams are on two points after two games — with Australia facing Group One leaders India in their final match while Afghanistan play Bangladesh, who have lost both their Super Eights games.
T20 World Cup: India beat Bangladesh by 50 runs in Super 8s, close in on semi-finals
A clinical India all but clinched a semi-final berth in the T20 World Cup after a comfortable 50-run win against Bangladesh in a Super 8s match here on Saturday.
Riding on a half-century from vice-captain Hardik Pandya (50 off 27 balls) and useful knocks from Virat Kohli (37), Rishabh Pant (36) and Shivam Dube (34), India posted 196 for 5, the highest T20I total at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium.
In reply, Bangladesh were all at sea against Kuldeep Yadav’s (3/19 in 4 overs) left-arm wrist spin, as they managed only 146 for 8 in the end.
Pandya showed his all-round prowess with a scalp, as only skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto (40 off 32 balls) looked comfortable in the middle.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/13 in 4 overs) was economical as ever.
India now have two wins from two Super Eight games and will be guaranteed a semi-final spot if Australia defeat Afghanistan later Saturday and also make the last four from Group 1.
Brief Scores:
India 196/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 50 not out, Shivam Dube 34, Rishabh Pant 36, Virat Kohli 37; T H Sakib 2/32).
Bangladesh 146/8 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 40, Kuldeep Yadav 3/19, Jasprit Bumrah 2/13). (Agencies)