Afghanistan through to semis after Tigers fall apart, Australia eliminated


Afghanistan made history in St. Vincent, defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in a low-scoring thriller in the final Super Eight match to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup for the very first time.

In a match where the fate of three teams — Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Australia — were on the line, the Afghans have come out on top, defending a mere 114-run target in 19 overs after multiple rain interruptions and have marched into the final four of a major ICC event for the very first time.

Liton Das remained unbeaten on 54 off 49 balls, but eventually ran out of partners, as the Tigers were bundled out for 105 in 17.5 overs.

Bangladesh initially showed intent to chase the target down inside 12.1 overs, which would’ve sent them to the semis, but Afghan skipper Rashid Khan turned the tide in the middle overs, and finished with 4-23.

Still, Bangladesh were inching closer to the target with Liton holding up one end. But Naveen-ul-Haq, who had taken two wickets in the Powerplay, struck in consecutive deliveries in the 18th over to seal the win for the Afghans, eliminating Australia in the process as well.

Afghanistan will now face South Africa in the first semifinal on June 27. Both these teams have never played a final of a World Cup.


Tigers out of running for semis, Afghans three wickets away

Bangladesh put their foot off the gas after losing their fifth wicket and now find themselves at risk of losing the match as Afghanistan have the Tigers reduced to 81-7 in 11.4 overs in the final Super Eight match of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today.

Mahmudullah, who came at No.7, hardly showed any attempt to take on the bowlers even though Bangladesh were within a chance to complete the chase within 12.1 overs, which would have seen them qualify for the semifinals.

Mahmudullah’s first shot of anger, after making six off eight balls, saw him get caught behind off Rashid and the very next ball Rishad Hossain was bowled, attempting a slog sweep.

A brief rain interruption in the 12th over then reduced it to a 19-over chase, officially eliminating Bangladesh from the semifinals race.

With Liton Das batting on 37 off 30 balls and Tanzim Sakib unbeaten on 1, Bangladesh are 82-7 after 12 overs, needing 32 off 42 balls to win.


Tigers’ semifinal dream slipping away

Bangladesh’s hope of sneaking through to the semifinals is slipping away quickly after losing two wickets after the rain interruption and are five down in the eighth over trying to chase down Afghanistan’s 116 in 12.1 overs to progress to the semis in the final Super Eight match of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today.

Rashid Khan claimed both wickets, first going through the defences of Soumya Sarkar (10 off 10) and then getting Towhid Hridoy (14 off nine) caught at long on.

However, Liton Das is still fighting the improbable battle, unbeaten on 34 off 25 balls and has been joined by Mahmudullah as Bangladesh are 73-5 after nine overs.


Play resumes after rain with Tigers three down

Play resumed after a brief rain interruption and thankfully for Bangladesh no overs were reduced, meaning the Tigers still need to chase Afghanstan’s 116-run target in 12.1 overs to qualify for the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup.

Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar are unbeaten on 13 off eight balls and three off six respectively and Bangladesh were 31-3 after 3.2 overs when play resumed after the rain.

Bangladesh lose three before rain stops play again

Bangladesh were under pressure after losing three quick wickets in pursuit of 116 against Afghanistan before rain stopped the proceedings in the final Super Eight match of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today.

The Tigers have lost the wickets of Tanzid Tamim, skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan and reached 31-3 after 3.2 overs when rain stopped play.

Bangladesh got off to a good start, getting 13 off Naveen-ul-Haq in the first over courtesy of a six and a four from the bat of Liton Das. But the Afghans bounced back the next over with Fazalhaq Farooqi trapping Tanzid (0) for an lbw.

Shanto (five) and Shakib (0) departed off consecutive deliveries from Naveen in the following over, with the former hitting one straight to Mohammad Nabi at deep midwicket while the latter gave a simple return catch to the bowler off a leading edge.

Liton, unbeaten on 13 off eight balls, was batting with Soumya Sarkar (three off six) when rain interrupted play.

At the halfway point, Bangladesh had to chase down the target in 12.1 overs to qualify for the semfinal. However, if overs get reduced because of rain interruption, the equation is likely to become much steeper for the Tigers.

For Afghanistan, a victory by any margin would suffice while Australia need Bangladesh to win, but take more than 12.1 overs, that is if it remains a 20-over chase.

Rishad and Co keep Tigers faint semi hope alive

Bangladesh bowlers have restricted Afghanistan to 115-5 in their 20 overs in the final Super Eight fixture, presenting the team with a difficult but realistic chance of making it to semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today. 

Rishad Hossain once again came up with the goods for Bangladesh in the middle-overs, finishing with 3-26 which included the vital wicket of Afghanistan’s top-scorer Rahmanullah Gurbaz (43 off 55 balls) in the 17th over.

Afghanistan were looking set for a decent total on what looked to be a difficult surface to bat on. However, after the fall of the first wicket in the 11th over, Bangladesh continued taking wickets in regular succession and restricted the Afghans to a gettable total.

Other than Rishad, pacers Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman were also impressive, finishing with 1-12 and 1-17 in their respective four overs,

Afghanistan were staring at an even poorer score, before their captain Rashid Khan hit a 10-ball 19, which included three sixes.

Bangladesh now need to chase the target down in 12.1 overs if they want to progress to the semifinals for the very first time. If Afghanistan defend this total, they will progress and if Bangladesh win the match but it takes them more than 12.1 overs, Australia will go through.

However, right as the innings ended, rain started pouring down in St. Vincent, which could mean a shortening of overs and a change in the equation.

Rishad gives Tigers first breakthrough

Rishad Hossain broke Afghanistan’s opening stand, getting Ibrahim Zadran caught as the Afghans lost their first wicket in the 11th over with 59 runs on the board in the crucial Super Eight match at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today.

Zadran, who was dropped on seven by Towhid Hridoy in the Powerplay, tried to take the aerial route on the off-side but was brilliantly caught by Tanzim Sakib.

Zadran departed for 18 off 29 as Afghanistan reached 59-1 after 11 overs.

Tigers keep it tight in Powerplay

Bangladesh kept Afghanistan quiet in the Powerplay but couldn’t break the opening stand, as the Afghans reached 27-0 after six overs in their crucial Super Eight match at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent today.

Bangladesh’s three-pronged pace attack tested Afghanistan but openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (12 off 21 balls) and Ibrahim Zadran (10 off 15) hung on.

Shakib Al Hasan bowled the only over of spin in the Powerplay in the fifth over and nearly got the first breakthrough. Shakib bowled a loose delivery which Zadran smashed straight to Towhid Hridoy at short cover, who couldn’t hold onto the catch.

Taskin, Soumya come in as Bangladesh sent to bowl in high-stakes match

Bangladesh lost the toss and were sent to bowl first against Afghanistan today in a high-stakes match which will decide who will claim the final spot in the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup.

The Tigers made two changes for the change, replacing Jaker Ali and Mahedi Hasan with Soumya Sarkar and Taskin Ahmed respectively while Afghanistan are going in with the same XI that defeated Australia.

The equation is straightforward for Afghanistan as a win today over the Tigers by any margin would see them progress to the semis for the very first time as Group 1 runners-up.

Meanwhile, if Bangladesh win today, but not by a significant margin, then Australia would go through owing to their superior net run rate. Bangladesh’s qualification scenario would get clear after the first innings of the match.

For example, if Afghanistan post 140, Bangladesh would need to chase down that target within 12.3 overs to surpass Australia in net run rate and qualify for the semis for the very first time.

After the toss, Afghanistan would be fancying their chances even more, as in the four previous matches at the Arnos Vale Ground in St. Vincent in this T20 World Cup, the teams batting first have emerged victorious.

This is the final match of the Super Eight phase.

Bangladesh (Playing XI): Tanzid Tamim, Liton Das(w), Najmul Hossain Shanto(c), Towhid Hridoy, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Tanzim Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman

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


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