Afghanistan’s Historic Win Reaches T20 World Cup Semi-Finals

Afghanistan's Historic Win Reaches T20 World Cup Semi-Finals

In a thrilling encounter marked by rain interruptions and high stakes, Afghanistan emerged victorious over Bangladesh by eight runs via the DLS method, securing their maiden spot in the semi-finals of any men’s senior World Cup. This landmark achievement came in the 52nd ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 match, held at Kingstown on June 24, 2024.

Match Summary

Afghanistan                                                                      115/5 (20)

Rahmanullah Gurbaz
43 (55)
Rishad Hossain
3/26 (4)
Rashid Khan
19 (10)
Taskin Ahmed
1/12 (4)
Ibrahim Zadran
18 (29)
Mustafizur Rahman
1/17 (4)

Bangladesh                                                                   105 (17.5/19)

Liton Das
54 (49)
Rashid Khan
4/23 (4)
Towhid Hridoy
14 (9)
4/26 (3.5)
Soumya Sarkar
10 (10)
Gulbadin Naib
1/5 (2)

Toss: Afghanistan chose to bat after winning the toss.
Stadium: Arnos Vale Stadium
Result: Afghanistan won by eight runs (DLS method)
Man of the Match: Naveen-ul-Haq(AGF) – 4/26 (3.5)

Key Moments and Performances

Naveen ul-Haq’s Match-Winning Spell

Naveen-ul-Haq was instrumental in Afghanistan’s defense of their total, earning the Player of the Match award with a brilliant spell of 4/26. His ability to strike at crucial junctures turned the tide in Afghanistan’s favor.

Rashid Khan’s All-Round Brilliance

Rashid Khan once again showcased why he is considered one of the best in the world. He not only took 4/23 with the ball but also contributed a vital 19 runs off ten balls, hitting three sixes in the final overs to boost Afghanistan’s total to a defendable 115/5.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s Steady Knock

Opening batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz anchored the innings with a composed 43 off 55 balls. His partnership with Ibrahim Zadran (18 off 29) set a solid foundation, although the team struggled to accelerate early on.

The Drama Unfolds

Afghanistan’s Innings

Winning the toss, Afghanistan opted to bat first. Their innings were characterized by a cautious start, ending the powerplay at 27/0 and reaching 58/0 at the halfway mark. Gurbaz’s resilience was crucial, but Rashid Khan’s late fireworks ensured Afghanistan had a competitive total. Rishad Hossain was the standout bowler for Bangladesh, claiming 3/26.

Bangladesh’s Chase and Rain Interventions

Chasing 116, Bangladesh faced an uphill battle with rain affecting the match dynamics. The revised target of 114 in 19 overs added to the pressure. Despite a commendable effort by Litton Das, who remained unbeaten on 54 off 49 balls, Bangladesh fell short, ending their innings at 105 in 17.5 overs.

Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi’s early breakthroughs put Bangladesh on the back foot. Farooqi, in particular, was effective with the new ball, removing Tanzid Hasan for a duck. Naveen removed key players like Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan, stifling Bangladesh’s momentum.

Critical Rain Break

A 20-minute downpour delayed the chase, and Bangladesh had to reassess their strategy in a shortened game. Although Litton Das showed intent by attacking Naveen and Rashid, the continuous loss of wickets and Mahmudullah’s indecisiveness ultimately cost them the game. Rashid Khan’s precision in the middle overs kept Bangladesh’s scoring in check, and Naveen’s final spell sealed the win.

Emotional Victory and Celebration

The victory was a watershed moment for Afghanistan cricket. Jonathan Trott’s animated gestures in the dressing room, Rashid Khan’s nail-biting reactions, and Mohammad Nabi’s constant smile reflected the team’s emotional roller-coaster. Naveen-ul-Haq’s ecstatic celebration after taking the final wicket epitomized Afghanistan’s journey to their historic semi-final spot.

Afghanistan’s win also significantly impacted the tournament, knocking Australia out of the T20 World Cup 2024. The win set up a semi-final clash with South Africa, while the other semi-final will see India take on England.

Looking Ahead

The team’s recent performances will bolster its confidence as Afghanistan prepares for its semi-final against South Africa. With key players like Rashid Khan and Naveen-ul-Haq in top form, Afghanistan has shown it is capable of competing with the best in the world.