• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

CRICKET

T20 WC: Gulbadin stars as Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run win

Afghanistan, also on two points like Australia, will stay in St Vincent to face Bangladesh on Monday, knowing what is needed to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time.

Australia were bowled out for 127 with four balls remaining, handing Afghanistan their first-ever win over Australia in a senior international match. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Gulbadin Naib led Afghanistan to a surprising 21-run victory over Australia in their Group One Super Eight match in the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Saturday. This was Australia’s first defeat in the tournament.

Australia, set a target of 149, looked on course with Glenn Maxwell scoring 59 off 41 balls. However, Gulbadin took his third wicket in the 15th over, removing Maxwell and turning the game in Afghanistan’s favour.

Australia were bowled out for 127 with four balls remaining, handing Afghanistan their first-ever win over Australia in a senior international match.

“It is a great moment for me, my nation, my people,” said Gulbadin, who was named Man of the Match for his four wickets for 20 runs. “I learned a lot about the pitch from when we batted, and I am glad that (captain) Rashid (Khan) had faith in me.”

Earlier, Pat Cummins took his second hat-trick in consecutive matches, disrupting Afghanistan’s innings after a strong opening stand.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran gave Afghanistan a solid start with a 118-run partnership.

Gurbaz scored 60 off 49 balls, and Zadran added 51 off 48 balls. However, four wickets for eight runs shifted the momentum back to Australia, with Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa contributing to the breakthroughs.

Cummins’ hat-trick, which included the wickets of Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, and Gulbadin, ended Afghanistan’s innings at 148 for six.

Australian captain Mitchell Marsh acknowledged the team’s poor performance in the field. “It was an off night for us in the field and we own that,” he said. “We knew it was a difficult wicket, but both teams bowled and batted on it, and we were simply outplayed by a better team on the night.”

Reflecting on the match, Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan praised his team’s performance. “It was important to return to the previous playing eleven after we tried a few different things in the last match against India,” he said. “We had in our minds that 140 was a good total on this wicket. The belief was there, and having so many bowling options like Gulbadin makes the job easier.”

With the top two teams from the group advancing to the semi-finals, Australia now must win their final match against unbeaten leaders India in St Lucia on Monday to secure a place in the last four. Afghanistan, also on two points like Australia, will stay in St Vincent to face Bangladesh on Monday, knowing what is needed to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time.

(AFP)

Related Stories
Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…

Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…

Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…