Afghanistan’s Historic Victory over Australia as Gulbadin Shine in T20 World Cup

Afghanistan’s cricket team created history with an exciting win over Australia in T20 World Cup, driven by a brilliant effort by Gulbadin Naib.

Even with Pat Cummins’s second straight hat-trick, Afghanistan won by 21 runs. Afghanistan’s seamers destroyed Australia’s top order with a semi-final position on the line.

Afghanistan’s Historic Victory over Australia as Gulbadin Shine in T20 World Cup
Gulbadin Naib destroyed Australia to secure the win for Afghanistan. Photo Credit: ICC/Getty Images

Australia 127 (Maxwell 59, Gulbadin 4-20, Naveen 3-20) lost to Afghanistan 148 for 6 (Gurbaz 60, Ibrahim 51, Cummins 3-28, Zampa 2-28) by 21 runs.

Glenn Maxwell then countered Afghanistan with a series of deceptive shots that gave them a déjà vu feeling. As soon as one shoveled four off Azmatullah Omarzai, Maxwell grinned broadly. Maxwell gave the Australian dressing room the thumbs up after he mentioned a 35-ball half-century, and it appeared as though they would lock up their spot in the final four and once more defeat Afghanistan.

But Maxwell’s 59 off 41 balls was stopped by Gulbadin Naib and Noor Ahmad, keeping Afghanistan’s hopes alive in this T20 World Cup. Once Naib managed to conceal one from Maxwell’s swinging arc, Noor executed an amazing, low catch at backward point. After Maxwell departed the game, Australia was 106 for 6 in the fifteenth over, needing 43 off 32 balls on the St. Vincent field, which had a bounce that varied and sharp turn.

With his career-best T20I stats of 4 for 20, Naib took advantage of the conditions to enable Australia get dismissed for 127. As their eighth bowler, Naib was instrumental in Afghanistan’s historic victory against Australia in all forms, taking out players like Pat Cummins, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, and Maxwell.

Although Cummins had previously scored three goals in a row and nearly achieved a four-game shutout, this was undoubtedly Naib’s and Afghanistan’s day.

To position Afghanistan for a competitive total, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran struck up their third century stand in this competition, making history as the first pair to do so in any T20I series.

After both openers scored half-centuries, Australia had to wait until the 16th over to make any progress. In T20Is, Australia has never had to wait so long for a wicket.

After playing out 21 dots in the first four overs, Gurbaz and Ibrahim could only manage 17. However, they more than quadrupled the score in the following two overs, finishing the powerplay at 40 for 0.

Then, Ibrahim created swinging space and crunched Ashton Agar for four runs as Gurbaz leaped out of his crease and hammered Adam Zampa for a straight six. Australia selected the left-arm fingerspinner (4-1-17-0) ahead of Mitchell Starc in order to match him against an Afghanistan lineup that was heavy on right-handers. However, he failed to pick up any wickets.

Gurbaz and Ibrahim mostly used percentage shots to neutralize Australia’s onslaught and the playing conditions. Had Zampa not wasted a challenging opportunity in the outfield, where he ultimately parried it away to the boundary, Ibrahim might have been removed on 11. When Stoinis blasted a return catch on number 32, Ibrahim was awarded another life. Afghanistan took advantage of Australia’s several lost opportunities in the field as they continued their uncharacteristically careless play.

Also Read: India’s Victory at T20 World Cup 2024: Hardik and Kuldeep Shine, Bangladesh Falters

Afghanistan’s Historic Victory over Australia as Gulbadin Shine in T20 World Cup
Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored a match winning fifty. Photo Credit: Getty Images

After earning his second hat-trick in three days, Cummins spearheaded Australia’s comeback at the end. He removed Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, and Naib during the course of the 18th and 20th overs on Saturday in St. Vincent. Cummins claimed that he was unaware he was on a hat-trick when he accomplished the feat against Bangladesh, but on Saturday against Afghanistan, he was conscious of it and raised his hands in joy before Maxwell had even caught the ball.

Had David Warner not dropped Nangeyalia Kharote off the next ball, Cummins might have scored four in a row. Afghanistan reached 148 for 6, having started the 16th over at 118 for 0, and at the halfway point, the game was open to anyone.

Afghanistan is accustomed to Fazalhaq Farooqi’s frequent powerplay strikes, but in this instance, Naveen-ul-Haq was the one who destroyed Australia’s top order. Once Naveen removed the first two balls from Travis Head, the ball swung and seamed away sharply, making Head look foolish and smashing into the middle stump. Naveen then threatened to bring one back into the batter with the angle from around the wicket.

Within his subsequent over, Naveen produced a catch to mid-off from Mitchell Marsh with a slower ball travelling at 108 kph that would have made his Afghanistan bowling consultant and Texas Super Kings teammate, Dwayne Bravo, proud.

Australia finished three overs at 16 for 2. Let’s introduce Maxwell. After hitting two fours in three balls off Omarzai, he removed rookie left-arm spinner Kharote from the assault. In a 13-run over, he initially reverse-swept Kharote past slip for four before hitting him with a terrific slog-sweeping stroke over midwicket. After just one over, Kharote was through with the ball.

In addition, Maxwell kept Australia informed about the asking rate and took some calculated chances against Rashid. Afghanistan may have seen the ghosts of Mumbai 2023 return when he scored a six off Naib to complete his half-century.

However, Naib assisted them in driving out the ghosts. In 13 overs, Australia was 94 for 5, with Wade and Maxwell in the middle. In his first two overs, Naib had already dismissed David and Stoinis.

Not even in Afghanistan’s Plan A was Naib. Rashid turned to Naib after the spinners were failing miserably, particularly against Maxwell. Naib responded by taking two more wickets.

Despite not having a fast speed, Naib continued to hit the surface and the ball responded differently as a result. He emitted a noise that could have been heard in Kabul, flexing his muscles and dismissing Maxwell in his third over. The supporters of Afghanistan in St. Vincent raised their flags and cheered alongside their hero.

After deceiving Cummins with a slower cutter in his final over, Rashid and Farooqi completed the victory for Afghanistan.

Pat Cummins Creates History with Back-to-Back T20I Hat-Tricks

In the T20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight match between Australia and Afghanistan, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in three days, making him the fifth bowler to have two in men’s T20Is. He also recalled that he was on one this time.

The fast bowler from Australia is one of the few players to record two T20I hat-tricks.

Afghanistan’s Historic Victory over Australia as Gulbadin Shine in T20 World Cup
Pat Cummins completed his second T20I hat-trick by dismissing Gulbadin Naib. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

He had already claimed a hat-trick in Antigua against Bangladesh, and he repeated the feat in his final two overs in St. Vincent. In the midst of Afghanistan’s final push for runs, he dismissed Karim Janat with the first ball of the 20th over, then removed Rashid Khan with the last delivery of the 18th over, both ways. Gulbadin Naib then hoicked to deep midwicket.

In between innings, Cummins said to the radio, “Yeah, remembered this one,” referring to his forgetting he was leading Bangladesh by a hat-trick. “Crazy to get two in a row after playing 100 plus games for Australia.”

David Warner lost an opportunity at deep square when Nangeyalia Kharote swung to the leg side. Curtis Campher of Ireland was the last player to have four wickets in four deliveries.

Cummins added his two T20I hat-tricks to those of Lasith Malinga, Tim Southee, Mark Pavlovic of Serbia, and Waseem Abbas of Malta. Regarding the brief period of time that separated them, Pavlovic took his on separate days in 2023 despite having participated in three matches within that period.

Wasim Akram, who accomplished the feat in back-to-back Tests against Sri Lanka in March 1999, was the first player to score a hat-trick in consecutive international matches before Cummins. In a 1912 Test match against South Africa, Jimmy Matthews scored hat-tricks in both innings on the same day.

Naib Celebrates Historic Victory Over Australia: “Thank God We at Last Beat Australia”

When Gulbadin Naib accepted his Player-of-the-Match award for his stint of 4 for 20, Afghanistan fans were relieved. Naib was the mastermind behind their historic victory over Australia. He was smiling broadly and drenched in perspiration as he held the trophy, reveling in the fact that he had “finally” defeated Australia.

They hadn’t defeated Australia at the World Cup in the previous two years, according to captain Rashid Khan.

“We had been anticipating this for a while. At the presentation, Naib remarked, “It’s a great moment not just for me but for my nation and my people.” “Our cricket team has accomplished a great deal with this. I can’t express how grateful I am to the fans for their support of our cricket journey and profession. We’ve been working as a wonderful team for the past two months, and the outcome is in front of you.

“Thank God we defeated Australia at last.” It’s a fantastic accomplishment for Afghan cricket. It is not much if you look at our cricket’s history. We have accomplished a lot in the last ten years. This is quite an accomplishment.

As Afghanistan attempted to reach 149 runs, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis looked to be the match’s greatest threats at the fourth wicket. Rashid Khan, the captain, decided to use Naib as his eighth bowling option. With his third ball, Naib took a wicket and got rid of Stoinis for eleven. After bowling four consecutive overs, he got the best wicket of Maxwell for 59 in the fourteenth over, thereby ending Australia’s chances. He also removed Tim David in the following over.

In addition, Naib stated that Afghanistan’s “journey starts now” and thanked Rashid for having faith in him throughout the game’s pivotal moments. Afghanistan experienced heartbreak against the same opponents during the ODI World Cup last year, so this victory was very sweet for them. Australia was on 91 for 7, and an undefeated double-century from a one-legged Maxwell—who was suffering from excruciating cramps—led them to an incredible victory. The outcome in Kingstown that cleared the Super Eight Group 1 rankings brought Naib relief.

Afghanistan’s Historic Victory over Australia as Gulbadin Shine in T20 World Cup
During his new-ball spell, Naveen-ul-Haq was blazing. Photo Credit: ICC/Getty Images

“We played very good cricket and in the first round we beat New Zealand,” he stated. “It’s not simple to defeat Australia, then. That is a significant accomplishment for our cricket as they are a world champion squad. We’re able to take this further.We are now off on our journey. We are extremely fortunate to have such management and employees.”

‘It’s something we missed in the last two years,’ said Rashid Khan

Afghanistan was set to bat first and were handed a solid foundation with a stand of 118 between Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran in the opening over. However, they lost 6 for 23 as Pat Cummins scored another hat-trick. Afghanistan could only muster 148 points for six.

Rashid emphasized the value of having multiple all-round players on the squad and stated that they were confident in their ability to defend anything that was over 130.

During the presentation, Rashid stated, “Even though we didn’t finish as well as we would have liked to, this is how this wicket is.” “The fact that our inaugural cooperation provided us with the best start was more significant. That allowed us to reach our desired total. We all watched the first two games together, and we all agreed that we could defend anything over 130 runs on this wicket. We have that belief and remain composed.

“This team’s abundance of all-around players provides you options, which is their beauty. It makes things simple for a captain.”

Afghanistan supporters would be “proud” after defeating Australia, according to Rashid, who called it a “great feeling”.

“It’s a massive win for us as a team and as a nation,” he stated. “Beating champions in the World Cup is an amazing experience. It’s something we failed to achieve in the last two years, failing to score enough runs in Australia in 2022 and the 2023 World Cup.

It is crucial for both the people of our country and everyone else where Afghans live. They were sorely lacking this victory. They would have loved the game and been proud of this, I’m sure. We are just getting started; the major game is coming up, and we have a great chance of making it to the semifinals.”

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