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Sunday July 14, 2024

Afghans set up last-four clash with Proteas

By Abdul Mohi Shah
June 26, 2024
Afghanistans players celebrate winning their ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Stadium, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday. — AFP
Afghanistan's players celebrate winning their ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Stadium, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday. — AFP

KINGSTOWN (Saint Vincent): Spirited Afghanistan side sealed T20 World Cup semi-final berth following a stop-start Super Eight final match against Bangladesh at the Arnos Vale Ground. Afghan players held on to their nerves to defend the readjusted 114-run winning target to put curtains on Australians’ desperate wait and Bangladesh’s agonizing hopes.

Bangladesh could only manage 105 before being bowled out in the wake of some exceptional bowling display by Man of the Match Naveenul Haq (4-26) and captain Rashid Khan (4-23). With Australia also waiting in the wings, Afghanistan achieved the ultimate goal to send the former star-studded champions packing.

Bangladesh required to chase down the original target of 116 in 12.1 overs to qualify for the semi-finals. When Bangladesh began their innings, all three teams of Group 1 sane India (that had already qualified by topping the Group) had a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Bangladesh not only failed in their quest to win a spot in the semis, they were also denied a victory by some brilliant teamwork put on by Afghanistan. Only Litton Das (54 not out) stayed at the crease throughout, watching the wickets tumbling at the other end. Bangladesh lost their last six wickets with the addition of only 25 runs.

Naveedul Haq was outstanding with the ball in the final overs while Rashid Khan broke the back of Bangladesh’s middle-order. Earlier, Afghanistan batsmen played 66 dot balls and were 58 for no loss in ten overs. Rehmanullah Gurbaz (43) and Ibrahim Zadran (18) put another half-century stand. This time around going was too slow on a wicket that offered considerable assistance to seam and spin bowling.

Afghanistan are now pitted against South Africa in their first ever mega event’s semi-final. The first semi-final will be played on Wednesday evening (early Thursday morning in Pakistan) here at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy Ground (Tarouba).

Afghanistan won the toss

Afghanistan

Gurbaz c Sarkar b Hossain 43

Zadran c Hasan b Rishad 18

Omarzai c Das b Rahman 10

Naib c Sarkar b Hossain 4

Nabi c Najmul b Taskin 1

Janat not out 7

Khan not out 19

Extras: 5b 0lb 0nb 0pen 8w 13

Total: (20.0 overs) 115-5

Fall of wickets: 1-59 Zadran, 2-84 Omarzai, 3-88 Gurbaz, 4-89 Naib, 5-93 Nabi

Bowling: Tanzim Hasan Sakib 4-0-36-0, Taskin Ahmed 4-1-12-1, Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-19-0, Mustafizur Rahman 4-0-17-1, Rishad Hossain 4-0-26-3

Bangladesh

Litton not out 54

Tanzid lbw Fazalhaq 0

Shanto c Nabi b Naveen 5

Shakib c&b Naveen 0

Sarkar b Rashid 10

Tawhid c Ibrahim b Rashid 14

Mahmudullah c (Sub) b Rashid 6

Rishad b Rashid 0

Sakib c Nabi b Naib 3

Taskin b Naveen 2

Mustafizur lbw Naveen 0

Extras: 1b 7lb 0nb 0pen 3w 11

Total: (17.5 overs all out) 105

Fall of wickets : 1-16 Tamim, 2-23 Shanto, 3-23 Al Hasan, 4-48 Sarkar, 5-64 Hridoy, 6-80 Riyad, 7-80 Hossain, 8-92 Sakib, 9-105 Ahmed, 10-105 Rahman

Bowling: Naveen-ul-Haq 3.5-0-26-4, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-0-15-1, Mohammad Nabi 2-0-15-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-23-4, Noor Ahmad 4-0-13-0, Gulbadin Naib 2-0-5-1

Result: Afghanistan win by 8 runs

Player of the match: Naveen-ul-Haq

Umpires: Langton Rusere, Nitin Menon