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T20 WC: 'We beat Australia at last! Great achievement for Afghan cricket'

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 23, 2024 14:22 IST
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IMAGE: Afghanistan's players celebrate a wicket during their T20 World Cup match against Australia. Photograph: ICC/X

Skipper Rashid Khan lauded Afghanistan for their 'massive' win over heavyweights Australia in the T20 World Cup, saying such glorious moments were missing in the last couple of years and attributed the victory to the number of all-rounders at the team's disposal.


Afghanistan registered a stunning 21-run win for their first ever victory against Australia in international cricket, in their must-win Super 8 T20 clash in the T20 World Cup to keep their hopes alive of making it to the semi-finals.

"Massive win for us as a team and as a nation. Great feeling. It's something we missed in last two years. Really happy with the win and super proud of the guys," Rashid said at the post-match presentation.

IMAGE: Gulbadin Naib produced career-best figures of 4/20 to bowl out Australia for 127 in 19.2 overs. Photograph: Afghanistan Cricket Board/X

Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51) slammed half-centuries but Australia restricted them to a manageable 148/6.

However, all-rounder Gulbadin Naib produced his career-best figures of 4/20 to bowl out Australia for 127 in 19.2 overs.

"140 was a good total on this wicket. We didn't finish as well as we should have.

"Opening partnership gave us best start. On this wicket, anything 130-plus, we were capable of defending it as long as we kept calm and had the belief. That's the beauty of this team, having all-rounders and having options."

Heaping praise on Naib, Rashid said: "The way Gulbadin bowled today - the experience he has, it came good today. The way Nabi started - the wicket of Warner - was also pleasing to see.

"It's so important for us back home and around the world. I am sure they are proud and would have enjoyed the game."

IMAGE: Rahmanullah Gurbaz stroked a brilliant 60 on a tough pitch for his third half-century in the T20 World Cup. Photograph: Afghanistan Cricket Board/X

Naib, who was adjudged the Player of the Match, said the win took a long time to come and hoped it will start a new chapter for the team.

Afghanistan had come agonisingly close to beating Australia at the ODI World Cup last year but a special performance by Glenn Maxwell had denied them that joy.

"We were waiting for a long time. Great moment for me, my nation, my people. Big achievement for our cricket. Thanks to our fans for supporting our cricket journey. We worked hard for the last 2 months, and the result is in front of you," he said.

"We beat Australia at last! It is a great achievement for Afghanistan cricket, our history isn't too much so this is a great achievement.

"We played great cricket in the last World Cup, and this year we beat New Zealand in the group stage. Our journey starts now. We have great management and I'm very fortunate to have this team. Every game is important, we will rest tomorrow and think about it."

IMAGE: Afghanistan's players celebrate victory. Photograph: Afghanistan Cricket Board/X

Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh said it was just an off day in the office.

"They probably got 20 too many. Lot of teams have bowled first in this tournament. Don't think it was won or lost at the toss. We had an off night on the field.

"Wasn't the easiest of wickets but both teams played on it. As I said, we got outplayed today. We just need to win and there's no better team to do it against."

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