• Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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T20 WC: Afghanistan stun NZ, Bangladesh beat SL in thriller

Afghanistan defeated New Zealand by 84 runs to take the top spot in Group C at the T20 World Cup at the Guyana National Stadium on Friday.

Chasing 160 for victory, NZ were bowled out for 75 in 15.2 overs, marking their first-ever loss to Afghanistan in T20I cricket. (Photo: X/@ACBofficials)

By: Vivek Mishra

In a dramatic day at the T20 World Cup, Afghanistan secured a stunning victory over New Zealand by 84 runs, while Bangladesh triumphed over Sri Lanka by two wickets in a thrilling encounter.

Afghanistan defeated New Zealand by 84 runs to take the top spot in Group C at the T20 World Cup at the Guyana National Stadium on Friday. Chasing 160 for victory, New Zealand were bowled out for 75 in 15.2 overs, marking their first-ever loss to Afghanistan in T20 International cricket.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 80 off 56 balls, including five fours and five sixes, and shared a 103-run opening partnership with Ibrahim Zadran (44). Afghanistan posted a total of 159 for six after being put in to bat.

Fazalhaq Farooqi took four wickets for 17 runs, following his five-wicket haul against Uganda, and Rashid Khan also claimed four for 17, including the wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for about three years,” said Gurbaz, who was named “Man of the Match.” “We have the trust and belief that we can beat any team in this competition on this type of surface. Credit must go to the bowlers as well. To do this against a team like New Zealand…it’s unbelievable.”

Williamson admitted the defeat was frustrating. “This just wasn’t good enough in terms of starting a tournament. We have to move on quickly from this because the matches now come thick and fast for us. Yes, we have to learn from so much that went wrong without over-analysing, but we have to turn it around as quickly as we can.”

Rashid Khan praised the team’s performance. “It is one of the greatest performances for us in T20s against a big team like New Zealand,” he said. “It was a great team effort, from the opening stand between Gurbaz and Ibrahim to the bowlers to the effort in the field from everyone.”

In another match, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets in Texas, starting their campaign in Group D with a win. Rishad Hossain took three wickets for 22 runs, helping to restrict Sri Lanka to 124-9. Liton Das (36) and Towhid Hridoy (40 from 20 balls) then led Bangladesh’s chase before Nuwan Thushara’s four wickets for 18 runs created late drama. Mahmudullah Riyad secured the win with an unbeaten 16.

Sri Lanka started strongly, reaching 53-2 in six overs and 100-3 after 14 overs, with Pathum Nissanka scoring 47 off 28 balls. However, Rishad’s spell turned the game as Sri Lanka managed only 24 runs in the final six overs, losing six wickets. Mustafizur Rahman took three for 17, and Taskin Ahmed two for 25.

Bangladesh overcame a shaky start, reduced to 28-3 in the sixth over, before a crucial 63-run partnership between Liton and Hridoy. Despite a late collapse, Mahmudullah’s six off Dasun Shanaka eased the pressure.

Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain praised his team’s performance. “Everybody’s body language was great, we gave our 120 per cent. Very important for Liton, he’s been struggling a bit but he showed his skill today. Hridoy was really courageous, the way he played that over really helped us.”

Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga expressed disappointment with their batting. “If batters put up 150-160, our bowling attack can win games. The last two games the batters didn’t do the job. It’s tough.”

(AFP)

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