Afghanistan create history by reaching T20 World Cup semi-final

Afghanistan create history by reaching T20 World Cup semi-final


Afghanistan better placed than Bangladesh in dash for last semi-final spot

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KINGSTOWN (Web Desk/AFP) – Afghanistan created history on Tuesday when they defeated Bangladesh by eight runs under the Duckworth Lewis System (DLS) in the last match of the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup in St. Vincent to move into the semi-final and sent Australia home.

A non-Test playing nation, Afghanistan, had earlier proved to be giant killers when they outplayed former world champion Australia the other day. They have joined India from the Group 1.

Bangladesh also had a chance to progress had they raced to the target in 12 overs or send Australia through with a victory over Afghanistan.

Rain intervened regularly but the match continued and Bangladesh had to score 108 runs in 19 overs under the DLS method. But the Afghans hold their nerves and bowled them out for 105 in the last over. Litton Das fought gallantly but ran out of support at the other end and remained unbeaten on 54.

Skipper Rashid Khan and pacer Naveen-ul-Haq wrecked the Bangladesh batting claiming four scalps each for 23 and 26 runs respectively.

The last few overs were high drama played out well past midnight local time with Bangladesh needing a run a ball. But Naveen snatched the initiative in the penultimate over by uprooting Taskin Ahmed's timber and trapping Mustafizur Rahman in front off consecutive balls.

Incidentally, it was Afghanistan's first victory against Bangladesh in a World Cup game. The two teams had met four times – once in a T20 World Cup (2014) and three times in the ODI World Cup (2015, 2019 and 2023) – and Bangladesh had won all those matches.

Afghanistan will have a semi-final showdown with South Africa on Thursday in Trinidad. India will face defending champions England the same day in Guyana. The Afghan-Proteas encounter will be live telecast at 5:30 in the morning and the India-English match at 7:30 pm. The final will be played on June 29.


Earlier, Rashid won the toss and elected to bat first, sending out the same team that stunned Australia at the same Arnos Vale Ground to give themselves a shot at the semis. But Bangladesh's bowlers put a dent in their hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals, restricting them to 115 for five.

Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain claimed three for 26 to lead the Bangladeshi effort on a surface where, having opted to take first strike, no-one in the Afghan top order managed to collar the varied attack.

Afghanistan can reach the last four of the tournament with a victory in Monday's game which would also eliminate Australia.

But despite another good opening stand – 59 off 10.4 overs – Afghanistan failed to capitalise on that platform with topscorer Rahmanullah Gurbaz's laborious 43 off 55 balls typifying the struggle to get the ball away.

Ibrahim Zadran and Azmatullah Omarzai managed to get into double-figures but the rate of scoring remained pedestrian throughout.

Seamer Taskin Ahmed, one of two changes to the Bangladesh team which lost heavily to semi-final qualifiers India in their last match two days ago, produced a superb four-over spell, conceding just 12 runs for the wicket of former captain Mohammad Nabi.

It was left to skipper Rashid Khan (19 not out) to belt three sixes – there was only one more in the entire innings – in the final two overs to help dribble the score over the 100-run mark.

Despite losses in their first two matches of the Super Eight, a huge victory for Bangladesh will earn them a semi-final spot alongside India from the group.

Beaten earlier in the day by India to be left on two points, Australia will be cheering for the Bangladeshis as a narrow win by them will see the Aussies sneaking into the last four on net run-rate.


Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (c), Mohammad Nabi, Nangeyalia Kharote, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Bangladesh: Litton Das (wk), Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Towhid Hridoy, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Soumya Sarkar, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman