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Afghanistan clinches semi-final spot in T20 World Cup 2024 with win over Bangladesh


KARACHI:

Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh by eight runs (DLS method) in their final Super 8 match of the T20 World Cup 2024 on Tuesday, earning themselves a spot in the tournament’s semi-finals.

Chasing a revised target of 114 runs in 19 overs, Afghan bowlers successfully dismissed Bangladesh for 105 runs.

Earlier, Bangladesh’s bowlers restricted Afghanistan to 115 for five after Afghanistan chose to bat first on a challenging pitch in St Vincent. Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain led Bangladesh’s bowling attack, taking three wickets for 26 runs, as Afghanistan’s top order struggled against the diverse bowling.

Afghanistan needed a victory to progress to the semi-finals and eliminate Australia from the tournament. Despite a promising start with an opening partnership of 59 runs in 10.4 overs, Afghanistan couldn’t capitalize fully. Rahmanullah Gurbaz top-scored with a slow 43 off 55 balls, highlighting the difficulty in accelerating the run rate.

Ibrahim Zadran and Azmatullah Omarzai reached double figures, but the scoring rate remained slow. Taskin Ahmed, introduced into the Bangladeshi team following their heavy defeat to India, bowled superbly, conceding only 12 runs in his four overs and dismissing former captain Mohammad Nabi.

In the closing overs, Afghan captain Rashid Khan added some late impetus, smashing three sixes in his unbeaten 19 runs, helping Afghanistan cross the 100-run mark. This late surge proved pivotal as Afghanistan’s bowlers successfully defended the modest total, securing their place in the semi-finals.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan recently praised Afghanistan’s cricket team, ranking them as the second-best in Asia for white-ball cricket following their historic victory over Australia in the T20 World Cup 2024 Super 8 match.

Vaughan highlighted Afghanistan’s skilled players and the effective leadership of Rashid Khan, emphasizing that their impressive performances are becoming more expected rather than surprising.

“It’s no surprise anymore that Afghanistan produce performances like we have just witnessed .. Extremely skilful set of players and brilliantly led by Rashid Khan,” he added.

In a separate statement, Vaughan reiterated his view on a different platform, affirming that Afghanistan has now solidified their position as the second-best team in white-ball cricket in Asia.

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