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Rediff.com  » Cricket » T20 WC: Afghanistan beat Bangladesh to enter semis

T20 WC: Afghanistan beat Bangladesh to enter semis

Last updated on: June 25, 2024 11:23 IST
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Rashid Khan

IMAGE: Skipper Rashid Khan paved the way for Afghanistan's incredible victory over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup Super 8 match, taking four wickets for 23 runs, in St Vincent on Tuesday. Photograph: ICC/X

Afghanistan, led by a fine all-round show by skipper Rashid Khan, produced a dogged display to beat Bangladesh by eight runs in the concluding Super Eight match and qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in St Vincent on Tuesday.

In a must-win contest, which saw frequent rain interruptions, Afghanistan scored 115 for 5 in their 20 overs and then returned to bowl out Bangladesh for 105 in 17.5.

Rashid first produced an entertaining cameo at the fag end of their innings, scoring 19 off 10 balls, including 3 sixes, and then took four wickets for 23 runs. He was well-supported by Naveen-ul-Haq, who took 4 for 26 in a splendid bowling effort that sealed a tense victory.

In the penultimate over Naveen bowled Taskin Ahmed and trapped Mustafizur Rahman off consecutive deliveries, triggering tearful celebrations from his teammates.

 

The match was truncated to 19-overs-a-side due to inclement weather and Bangladesh were given a revised target of 114.

The result knocked out former champions Australia, whose slim hopes hung on Bangladesh winning the game.

Litton Das scored 54 off 49 balls, which included 5 fours and a six, but it was not enough to take Bangladesh over the line.

IMAGE: Litton Das scored 54 off 49 balls, which included 5 fours and a six, but it was not enough to take Bangladesh over the line. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Afghanistan will take on South Africa in the semi-finals on June 27.

After the Afghans opted to bat on winning the toss, Rahmanullah Gurbaz top-scored with a 55-ball 43 but Rishab Hossain (3/26) snapped three wickets to restrict them to 115 for 5.

In reply, Litton Das scored an unbeaten 49-ball 54 but it was not enough take Bangladesh across the line.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran

IMAGE: Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran during their 50-run partnership in the T20 World Cup Super Eight match against Bangladesh in St Vincent on Tuesday. Photograph: ICC/X

Earlier, Afghanistan rode on Rashid's 10-ball 19 which enabled the team put up a respectable total after Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran got them off to a slow, but steady start.

Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat. They fielded the same eleven that beat Australia two days ago, while Bangladesh made two changes from the team that lost to India.

Soumya Sarkar was included in place of Jaker Ali and Taskin Ahmed for Mahedi Hasan.

There was drama first ball. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz pushed one to the leg side, took off for a quick single and was almost run-out. He dived and made it safely, but the direct hit was close enough to call for a review.

Bangladesh kept it tight, restricting the Afghans to only five runs from the first two overs.

Gurbaz and Zadran, the other opener, chose to play their shots on merit as they steered Afghanistan to 27 without loss at the end of the sixth over.

The pair continued in the same vein and put up another 50-run stand early in the ninth over. In the process they created a little slice of history, becoming the first pair to put together four partnerships of at least 50 in the tournament’s 17-year history.

Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed

IMAGE: Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed bowled a miserly spell of 4-1-12-1. Photograph: ICC/X

While Bangladesh's bowlers did a good job of keeping the Afghans' run-rate under control, they conceded 13 extras in the first nine overs.

Afghanistan made it to drinks at 58 without loss.

Bangladesh then got the breakthrough with the fourth ball after the mid-innings break. Zadran, attempting to send a delivery from Rishad Hossain over long-off did not get enough on it and was caught by Tanzim Hasan Sakib after scoring 18 off 29 balls.

The 12th over was a maiden and more nerves kicked in for Afghanistan's batters.

Gurbaz landed two reliving fours in the 14th over, but that patch of action was surrounded by tight bowling. The pressure started producing chances for Bangladesh and they did not miss out.

Azmatullah Omarzai feathered one and was out for 10, while Gurbaz (43 off 55) fell two balls later off the first ball of the 16th over from Hossain.

Bangladesh took two more wickets before the 18-over mark as Afghanistan were reduced to 99 for 5.

Rashid produced an entertaining cameo, sending three over the rope to propel Afghanistan to 115 for 5 from 20 overs just as as rain arrived.

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