Afghanistan shock Australia to keep semi-final hopes alive

 


Afghanistan shocked Australia to keep their T20 World Cup hopes alive with a historic 21-run win in St Vincent.

Needing a victory to avoid elimination, Afghanistan posted 148-6 on a challenging surface on the back of a superb opening stand of 118 between Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran.

They quickly reduced Australia to 32-3 in the chase before Glenn Maxwell’s 35-ball half-century recovered the situation for the 2021 champions.

But just when Australia seemed to have the advantage, Gulbadin Naib removed Marcus Stoinis and Tim David before taking the prize wicket of Maxwell.

From there, Australia collapsed from 106-6 to 113-9 and Afghanistan sealed the win - their first over Australia in any form of cricket - in the final over.

"We've been waiting for a long time, it's a great moment for me, my nation, my people," said player of the match Gulbadin.

Pat Cummins had earlier taken his second hat-trick in as many games - the first player to achieve the feat in T20 internationals - but despite Australia's fightback with the ball, Afghanistan's total proved to be beyond them.

Rashid Khan's side are now firmly back in contention to reach the semi-finals and face Bangladesh in their last Super 8s game (Tuesday, 01:30 BST).

"It's a massive win for us as a team and as a nation," added Rashid. "In a World Cup, to beat champions [Australia are 50-over world champions] is a great feeling and it is something we have missed.

“It's just the beginning for us and we have every chance of making the semis."

Meanwhile, Australia take on India in St Lucia (Monday, 15:30 BST) and will likely need to win to progress to the last four

Comments