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T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan crush PNG by seven wickets, storm into Super Eight

T20 World Cup 2024
Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq (L) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Papua New Guinea's Hiri Hiri during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group C cricket match between Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea on June 13, 2024. (Photo | AFP)

TAROUBA, June 14: Afghanistan produced yet another splendid bowling display to defeat Papua New Guinea by seven wickets and advanced to the Super Eight Stage of the T20 World Cup here.
With three wins from as many matches, Afghanistan thus joined tournament co-hosts West Indies (6 points) from Group C to make it to the Super Eight.
It also meant an early exit for 2021 finalists New Zealand who have suffered two losses in a row.
Naveen-ul-Haq was the pick of the bowling returning with 2/4 from 2.5 overs, while Fazalhaq Farooqi claimed 3/16 to take his tally to 12 wickets in the tournament as Afghanistan bowled out PNG for 95 in 19.5 overs.
In reply, Afghanistan overcame early jitters to reach the target in 15.1 overs with Gulabdin Naib anchoring the chase with a 36-ball 44 not out.
Brief Scores Papua New Guinea 95 all out in 19.5 overs (Kiplin Doriga 27, Alei Nao 13; Fazalaq Farooqi 3/16, Naveen-ul-Haq 2/4) lost to Afghanistan: 101/3 in 15.1 overs (Gulabdin Naib 44 not out) by 7 wickets.
Bangladesh close in on Super 8 berth with 25-run win over Netherlands
Shakib Al Hasan regained form with a sublime half-century before leg-spinner Rishad Hossain struck twice at a crucial juncture as Bangladesh inched closer to Super 8s with a 25-run win over Netherlands in the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
Set a target of 160, the Netherlands ended at 134 for eight in their allotted 20 overs at the picturesque Arnos Vale Ground, which was hosting an international for the first time in 10 overs.
The result meant Sri Lanka were knocked out of the tournament.
Shakib roared back to form with a 46-ball 64 as Bangladesh posted a competitive 159 for five after being asked to bat.
Besides Shakib, Tanzid Hasan struck 35 off 26 balls and Mahmudullah chipped in with 25 off 21.
In their chase, Netherlands lost two wickets with just 32 runs on the board, and most importantly, with the powerplay about to end.
Vikramjit Singh (26 off 16 balls) hit three sixes and was looking dangerous when Mahmudullah had the batter stumped to leave Netherlands at 69 for three in the 10th over.
Sybrand Engelbrecht (33 off 22 balls) and skipper Scott Edwards (25 off 23) added 42 runs for the fourth wicket before leg-spinner Rishad struck twice to turn the game on its head.
Left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman, bowling brilliantly at the other end, sent back Edwards and Rishad returned to dismiss Logan van Beek cheaply to almost seal the match in Bangladesh’s favour.
Netherlands needed 86 off 60 balls, and tried to make a match of it but then, all of a sudden, they lost four wickets as the the trio of Taskin Ahmed (2/30), Rishad (3/33) and Mustafizur Rahman (1/12) came up with excellent performances.
Earlier, with Bangladesh starting their innings with two left-handers, Edwards tossed the new ball to off-spinner Aryan Dutt in the second over, and the move paid instant dividends as they got the big wicket of Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto (1).
The Dutch would do well to thank the Bangladesh captain for his horrendous shot selection as he went for a needless reverse sweep to be out caught in the first slip.
Dutt also accounted for Litton Das at the beginning of fourth over thanks to a stunning catch in the deep by a sprinting Sybrand Engelbrecht.
After Das swept Dutt towards square leg, Engelbrecht covered a lot of ground and dived full-length to pull off the catch.
The shot Das played was also unnecessary given that Tanzid Hasan had picked up two boundaries and a six in the previous over. For the maximum, Tanzid danced down the ground and flayed it over covers.
The only change in the Dutch line-up for this vital Group D match, Dutt vindicated the team management’s decision by returning excellent figures of 2/17 in his full quota of four overs.
Paul van Meekeren (2/15) was also brilliant with the ball.
As many as 18 came off the fourth over bowled by Vivian Kingma and Bangladesh were on their way.
Struggling for form prior to this game, Shakib collected four boundaries in the sixth over, which yielded 19 runs, as Bangladesh reached 54 for two at the end of powerplay.
Meanwhile, Tanzid tried to hit van Meekeren against the wind and paid the price, holing out to Bas de Leede in the outfield.
Bangladesh’s two most experienced players, Mahmudullah and Shakib then added 41 runs for the fourth wicket to prop up the team.
However, as the innings entered its final stretch, Mahmudullah, having hit two sixes and two fours, was done in by the strong wind as Engelbrecht completed another good catch near the ropes.
England thrash Oman to reignite T20 World Cup campaign
England hammered Oman by eight wickets as the reigning champions revived their T20 World Cup campaign with a record-breaking win in Antigua on Thursday.
Needing a heavy victory to bolster their net run-rate as they attempt to overhaul Scotland in the race to qualify for the second round, England routed Oman for just 47.
England then made 50-2 in a mere 3.1 overs, captain Jos Buttler 24 not out and Jonny Bairstow, who hit the winning boundary, unbeaten on eight.
This overwhelming Group B victory meant England recorded the largest win in T20 World Cup history in terms of balls remaining.
Oman had no answer to England’s attack, leg-spinner Adil Rashid taking 4-11, while express quicks Jofra Archer and Mark Wood both had figures of 3-12 in an innings that ended with nearly seven overs to spare.
Number seven Shoaib Khan (11) was the only Oman batsman to reach double figures after Buttler won the toss.
England’s net run-rate climbed to 3.081, better than Scotland’s 2.16, although they stayed third on three points, behind the Scots’ five.
But amid speculation arch-rivals Australia, undefeated so far in Group B might ease up in their closing pool game against Scotland to engineer England’s exit, Buttler’s men now know they will go second if they beat Namibia in their pool finale on Saturday.
Even a win, however, would leave England awaiting the outcome of Sunday’s match between Australia and Scotland to discover if they have reached the Super Eights.
‘Job done’
“I thought the tone was set really well by the bowlers, picking up the early wickets,” said Buttler as England returned to winning ways after a comprehensive 36-run loss to Australia last time out that followed a washout with Scotland.
“Job done today, another big game in two days’ time.”
Defeat by Australia added to the pressure on Buttler and coach Matthew Mott, himself a native Australian, that had been growing since late last year when England lost six of their nine games during a woeful defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India.
“I’ve been around long enough to know how things work,” said Buttler. “We have confidence. We can only focus on ourselves, we’ve got a huge game against Namibia.”
Already-eliminated Oman, who ended the tournament having lost all four of the games, just scraped past the record lowest completed total of 39 at any T20 World Cup, posted by fellow-non Test nation Uganda against co-hosts West Indies in Guyana last week.
“We couldn’t do well in the batting, it was a big collapse,” said Oman captain Aqib Ilyas.
“Overall we couldn’t do much. There are still many positives and you just have to get better and better. Once in a year you play against bowlers doing 150 kph (93 mph) plus.”
Archer did the early damage with 2-12 in nine balls.
Oman then lost two wickets in Wood’s first over as they slumped to 25-4 in six overs.
The very next delivery wicketkeeper Buttler luckily removed the bails at the second attempt to stump Khalid Kail off Rashid’s first ball as wickets continued to tumble.
Phil Salt struck the first two balls of England’s chase for six, only to be bowled off the third by Bilal Khan, but his side were on their way. (PTI/AFP)

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