T20 WC: Afghanistan pull off historic win over Australia in Super 8

Story by  ANI | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 23-06-2024
Afghan cricket team celebrating in the field
Afghan cricket team celebrating in the field


Kingstown [St Vincent]

Australia were left flabbergasted following an inspirational spell from Afghanistan bowlers led by Gulbadin Naib and Naveen-ul-Haq, which sealed a 21-run win for the Asian side in the Super 8 clash of the ongoing T20 World Cup at Arnos Vale Ground.

It was a night to remember for Afghanistan and their fans in St Vincent. The surprise was visible in Afghanistan's dugout when Naveen removed Ashton Agar and took his team a step closer to one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.

Travis Head got outdone by the movement of the ball. Naveen breached his defence to knock the bails over, forcing the opener to walk back for a three-ball duck.

Skipper Mitchell Marsh (12) showed intent by picking up a couple of boundaries, but Naveen with his crafty pace outsmarted him.

David Warner followed in the footsteps of the duo, with Mohammad Nabi getting the better of the seasoned opener.

With wickets falling at one end, Glenn Maxwell led the fight against the opposition with a mix of composure and ruthlessness.

With Maxwell on the crease, nostalgia started to creep into the entire stadium. The ODI World Cup heroics of Maxwell looked destined to be repeated.

But this time, Gulbadin came to Afghanistan's rescue by showing Maxwell (59) the path to the dugout. Australia never recovered from the blow and succumbed to a maiden 21-run defeat against Afghanistan.

Ajay Jadeja, coach for the Afghan team posted these images on social media X:

Afghanistan have managed to keep their hopes of playing in their first semi-final of the tournament alive.

However, their chances of reaching the final four are still slim. After the emphatic win, they are level on points with Australia, with both teams having two each. But Australia have a far superior net run rate.

Australia is in the second spot with a positive NRR of 0.224, while Afghanistan are in the third spot with an NRR of - 0.650.

Earlier in the innings, both teams got what they wanted after Australia won the toss and put Afghanistan to bat.  Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51) came out to open for the Asian side. They took their time scoring run-a-ball for the majority of the game.

However, Gurbaz and Zardan escalated towards the end and went on to forge a 118-run stand.

After Gurbaz's dismissal, the Afghanistan line-up fell like a house of cards. Australia's ace in the hole, Adam Zampa, stuck twice in the 17th over to derail Afghanistan's innings.

Pat Cummins took a second successive hat-trick in the 20th over to reduce Afghanistan to 148/6.

Brief Score: Afghanistan 148/6 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 60, Ibrahim Zadran 51; Pat Cummins 3-28) vs Australia 126 (Glenn Maxwell 59; Gulbadin Naib 4-20, Naveen-ul-Haq 3-20). (ANI)