Afghanistan win topsy-turvy Bangladesh clash to eliminate Australia from World Cup

By Sports Desk June 25, 2024

Afghanistan reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time and eliminated Australia from the tournament with a dramatic eight-run win over Bangladesh.

Afghanistan entered the final game of the Super 8s requiring a victory to join England, India and South Africa in the last four, while Bangladesh themselves could still qualify via net run-rate with a handsome win.

Both Bangladesh and Australia might have been positive regarding their prospects when Afghanistan reached just 115 in their innings.

Even Rahmanullah Gurbaz's 43 came off 55 balls as they made slow progress, before the opener handed Soumya Sarkar a simple catch off a 17th-over delivery from Rishad Hossain, who impressed with figures of 3-26.

It was the Bangladesh innings that brought the drama, though. 

Repeated rain stoppages meant they were left chasing a series of revised targets, and the losses of Najmul Hossain Shanto (5) and Shakib Al Hasan on back-to-back third-over balls, the latter for a golden duck, made their chances of qualification unlikely.

However, they could still send Australia through with any victory, and opener Litton Das did his best to do so, making an unbeaten 54 as wickets tumbled around him.

With Bangladesh nine runs from victory but with just one wicket remaining in the 18th over, it was Naveen-ul-Haq who sealed Afghanistan's place in the last four.

He joined captain Rashid Khan on four dismissals by trapping Mustafizur Rahman lbw, ensuring Afghanistan will face South Africa in a historic semi-final in Trinidad on Thursday.

Data Debrief: Farooqi earns a slice of history

While Afghanistan captain Khan (4-23) and Naveen (4-26) hogged the headlines on a historic day for the team, team-mate Fazalhaq Farooqi also had an outing to remember. He trapped Tanzid Hasan lbw for the first wicket of the Bangladesh innings, his 16th wicket at this year's tournament.

That drew him level with Sri Lanka's PW Hasaranga (in 2022) for the most wickets in a single edition of the T20 World Cup, and he will look to take the record outright against South Africa later this week.

 

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