Afghanistan’s Thrilling Win Against Bangladesh Secures Semi-Final Spot: Australia Out of T20 World Cup

Afghanistan’s dream run in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 continues as they beat Bangladesh to secure semi final spot for the first time ever.

Naveen and Rashid’s four-fors propelled Afghanistan in a game that featured a few rain-related interventions. With Afghanistan’s victory, Australia are out of T20 World cup race.

Afghanistan’s Thrilling Win Against Bangladesh Secures Semi-Final Spot: Australia Out of T20 World Cup
Afghanistan celebrates. Photo Credit: ICC via Getty Images

Bangladesh 105 (Litton 54*, Rashid 4-23, Naveen 4-26) lost to Afghanistan 115 for 5 (Gurbaz 43, Rishad 3-26) by eight runs via DLS method.

The first time Jonathan Trott kicked a bag was in the changing room. Then, as it started to rain, he gave Afghanistan the signal to slow down the game. Throughout the pursuit, Rashid Khan kept his hands on his head. Mohammad Nabi’s face was always grinning. It was not visible to Dwayne Bravo.

However, Naveen-ul-Haq’s departure after getting the last Bangladeshi wicket was the one scene that perfectly captured the intensely emotional evening in Kingstown. That guaranteed Afghanistan’s first-ever place in a men’s senior World Cup semi-final.

Afghanistan, powered by four-fors from Naveen and Rashid, defeated Bangladesh by just eight runs in a match that was interrupted by several weather delays. In the process, Afghanistan eliminated Australia from the T20 World Cup 2024.

The downpour further heightened the tension as both teams and Australia competed for one Super Eight semifinal spot from Group 1. The last hour or so was spent playing cat and mouse. There were times when Afghanistan had the advantage on the DLS par score, but Bangladesh was able to overturn the result by taking wickets.

With a tournament best of 36 prior to Monday, Litton Das persevered through it all but was unable to push Bangladesh across the finish line. After defeating two teams in one game, Rashid and company danced nonstop, and the festivities will probably last longer.

Bangladesh defeated Australia and Afghanistan to go to the semi-finals, but they had to chase their initial target of 116 down in 12.1 overs. Rainfall that lasted for twenty minutes caused a thirty-minute delay in their pursuit. Bangladesh, therefore, suffered from a shortened game.

However, Bangladesh provided conflicting messages following the second break in the rains. In an attempt to attack Rashid, Soumya Sarkar was knocked down by Litton’s attack on Naveen. Although Towhid Hridoy’s gamble, which included a dropped catch against Mohammad Nabi, paid off, he also holed out against Rashid. However, Bangladesh appeared to be on course to chase the goal down in order to qualify when Litton hit Rashid for two consecutive fours, one over mid-off and the other just past slip.

However, after 11 overs, they were reduced to 80 for 7 due to Mahmudullah’s indecision and Rishad Hossain’s daring. At that point, the rainy clouds reappeared and continued to linger over the stadium, providing consistent coverage of the DLS par scores for the remainder of the evening.

Litton seemed to remain composed despite mounting strain. With a strike rate of less than 100 and an unimpressive 2024 in Twenty20 Internationals, his standing in the Bangladeshi lineup is in doubt. However, he got off to a deliberate start and maintained their aspirations of finishing the T20 World Cup victorious. Still, it was not intended to be.

Afghanistan’s weapon with the new ball, Fazalhaq Farooqi, took Tanzid Hasan for a leg before wicket with his third ball, his 16th wicket, leveling his record for most wickets in a men’s T20 World Cup with Wanindu Hasaranga.

Litton struck Naveen for a four and a six in his costly opening over. Then, in his second over, Najmul Hossain Shanto blasted one over midwicket. However, Naveen bowled a length ball angling into Shanto, who picked out deep midwicket, after Naveen had established a deep midwicket. Bangladesh were 23 for 3 when Naveen’s subsequent ball managed to straighten just enough to capture Shakib Al Hasan’s leading edge for a return catch.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma’s Masterful Innings Powers India to T20 World Cup Semi-Finals, Australia’s Hopes Dim

A non-enterprising start is one of the strategies that has worked for Afghanistan and their World Cup openers. Following their usual pattern, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran did not take many chances during the powerplay or in the first 10 overs of play. They were 27 for 0 at the end of the powerplay and 58 for 0 at the ten-over point.

The fourth fifty-wicket partnership between Gurbaz and Ibrahim was the highest of any T20 World Cup pairing. Only fifteen attacking shot attempts were made in the first 10 overs, and that too on a surface that was slowing down and would eventually see dew. The wind was blowing diagonally from right to left, in the direction of Rishad’s natural spin, when he was called on in the ninth over. He beat Ibrahim’s outside edge right away, and he utilized the bounce to have the leading edge of the same batter caught at long off in his second over.

Nangyal Kharote hoists Rashid Khan into the air following the historic victory. Photo Credit: ICC/Getty Images

In his third over, Gurbaz then turned the tables on Rishad. After 38 legal balls without a four, he first smacked one over cover point to conclude the phase. He then used the sweep to get another four through the backward-square-leg area.

But in his final over, Rishad had the last laugh when he got Gurbaz to hole out for deep cover. He also saw Gulbadin Naib misplay a slice in the direction of cover point a few balls later. Sarkar plunged full length almost to the 30-meter circle, coming in from the deep, and if it weren’t for him, Naib might have escaped. Afghanistan went from having an early edge of 59 for 0 to 89 for 4, and that was it.

At 93 for 5, with just 14 balls remaining, Rashid entered. He faced ten of them, tried to attack on nine of them, and ended up finishing on 19 without being out. He hit three sixes, two of which came off Tanzim Hasan Sakib’s final over. With the exception of one instance when he threw the willow in the direction of his partner Karim Janat, he normally made good use of it.

In the final over of the innings, Rashid requested a second run to maintain his lead, but Janat declined. Even so, he contributed to Afghanistan’s 22nd run in the final 14 balls, which put them on a competitive total right before the skies in Kingstown opened.

Afghanistan faced 66 dot balls during their innings, which was third highest in men’s T20I where ball-by-ball records are available with ESPNcricinfo by a team losing five or fewer wickets. However, it did not come back to haunt Afghanistan, who managed to effectively defend totals in St. Vincent and maintain their clean slate.

Semifinals of the 2024 T20 World Cup: Afghanistan vs South Africa, India vs England

Following an eventful Super Eight stage, in which Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh in a thrilling match held in St. Vincent to eliminate Australia, the following four teams have been confirmed as the T20 World Cup 2024 semi-finalists: In the first semifinal, South Africa, the winners of Group 2, will play Afghanistan; in the second semifinal, India, the leaders of Group 1, will play England.

On Wednesday, June 26, the first semi-final between South Africa and Afghanistan will take place in Tarouba’s Brian Lara Stadium at 8:30 p.m. local time. At 10.30 a.m. local time on Thursday, June 27th, the second semi-final between India and England will take place at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

Well in advance of the competition, India was guaranteed a spot in the second semi-final, which would take place in Guyana regardless of their Super Eight result. On June 27, the game will begin at 8:00 p.m. India time.

However, there are differences in the playing conditions for the two semifinals. Due to the one-day gap between that match and the final, there will be no reserve day for the second semi-final between India and England.

For each semi-final, however, there is an additional 250 minutes of time available. A total of 190 minutes will be added to the first semi-final on the reserve day, beginning at 2 p.m. local time, and another 60 minutes at the conclusion of the day’s play. Since the second semi-final does not have a reserve day, all 250 minutes will be available on the scheduled day.

In addition, both teams must bat at least 10 overs every innings in the semi-finals and final to be considered as complete, compared to five overs per innings for the rest of the competition.

This could be important because rain is predicted for both locations, and the playing conditions indicate that the teams that finish higher in their respective Super Eight groups—in this example, South Africa and India—will move on in the event of a washout. The two finalists will be proclaimed joint victors in the event that bad weather forces the cancellation of the final.

Gulbadin Naib’s Controversial Cramp Raises Eyebrows During Crucial T20 World Cup Match

During Afghanistan’s Super Eight match versus Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup 2024, all-rounder Gulbadin Naib became embroiled in controversy. The incident, which happened at a pivotal moment in the game, generated discussions among viewers and pundits alike.

Gulbadin Naib's act of suspens. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Just when Afghanistan was chasing a target in order to secure a semi-final spot at the expense of Australia, an important development occurred. Bangladesh was down to 80 runs by the eleventh over, having lost their sixth and seventh wickets. After that, they started to lag behind the DLS par score, and the game was in danger of raining.

Naib was fielding at first slip when he abruptly fell, gripping the back of his leg, during the 12th over, which was bowled by Noor Ahmad. Raising eyebrows was this sudden cramp, particularly when Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott appeared to be indicating that the game should be slowed down in light of the approaching rain.

Because of Naib’s apparent injury, which required medical treatment, the surface became saturated in rain as he was helped off the field by teammate Naveen-ul-Haq and support personnel. Bangladesh’s chase was shortened by one over as a result of this delay, and the DLS target was changed to 114.

It was a brief interruption, but play soon resumed. Naib was replaced by Najibullah Zadran, who came back in the 13th over and eventually bowled the 15th over, which resulted in Tanzim Hasan’s wicket. Following the game, Rashid Khan, the captain of Afghanistan, played down the event when questioned by Simon Doull. He underlined that rain is erratic and reiterated their goal of completing the entire 20 overs and taking ten wickets.

In cricket, wasting time is a crime that can be punished intentionally or not. But this event had no bearing on the result; Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh by eight runs to guarantee their place in the semi-finals.

This contentious incident involving Gulbadin Naib will go down in history as a turning point in Afghanistan’s 2024 T20 World Cup campaign. The team’s attention is still on their upcoming battle in the semifinals while talks go on.

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