T20 World Cup: Afghanistan scripts history, beats Bangladesh by 8 runs for its maiden entry into semis

It was Naveen-ul-Haq who claimed the last two wickets in his fourth over to put an end to the gallant fight by Bangladesh.

Afghanistan are through to the T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final. / X/@T20WorldCup

In a pulsating game of fluctuating fortunes, Afghanistan bowlers put up a splendid show in death overs to stave off a stiff challenge from wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das led Bangladesh batters in the last Super 8 encounter of the T20 World Cup on June.24. Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 8 runs to go to the T20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time.

It was Naveen-ul-Haq who claimed the last two wickets in his fourth over to put an end to the gallant fight by Bangladesh. He became the instant hero of Afghanistan in scripting history in this shortest format of the game.

Though Litton Das carried his bat through the innings but could not help his team with a win in a nail-biting finish. He remained unbeaten on 54 made from balls with five boundaries and a six. Litton may have created a record of sorts as he became the first batter in this marquee event to come as an opener and remain unbeaten till the end.

Afghanistan needed an outright win to make the last four while Bangladesh had a remote chance of moving up itself or helping Australia to make the semis with a win. Afghanistan, however, did not let its chance go. It also thwarted Australia’s backdoor entry into the semi-finals.

Led by skipper Rashid Khan (4 for 23) and Naveen-ul-Haq (4 for 26) with single wicket contribution each coming from Fazalhaq Farooqi and Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan pulled off a narrow    Run win over Bangladesh to make its maiden entry into the semi-final of the T20 World Cup. The Afghan win came as a big heartbreak for Litton Das who waged a lone battle at one end and survived a third umpire review for leg before by Noor Ahmad with the score reading 99/8.

Batting first, Afghanistan started very well putting on 59 runs for the opening wicket, thanks to some good cricket by wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zardan. They put on 59 on the first wicket before Rishad Hossain sent back Ibrahim Zardan for 18 made from 29 balls. With Gurbaz continuing to play a dominant role, he put on 25 runs for the second wicket with Azmatullah Omarzai who made 10 from 12 balls.

Gurbaz was next to go at 88 with a personal contribution of 43 made from 55 balls with the help of three boundaries and a sixer. Since runs were difficult to come on this pitch, no other batsman could make an impact on the Bangladesh bowlers. Rishad Hossain was devastating as he finished with three for 26.

As the score stood at 93 for 5 from 17.4 overs, skipper Rashid Khan came in. Realising that his team needed a fighting total, he swung at every possible opportunity. His efforts bore fruit and helped Afghanistan not only cross the 100-mark but also took the total to 115 in the stipulated 20 overs.

When Bangladesh came to bat, rain repeatedly disrupted play, holding the game thrice. Bangladesh chasing a difficult target scoring the required number of runs in 12.1 overs. But the Afghan bowlers, especially their skipper, Rashid Khan had different ideas. His excellent variation and control saw him claiming four wickets for 17 runs from three overs.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das continued to wage a lonely battle from one end making full use of every scoring opportunity. When the third disruption due to rain came, he was on 37 made from 30 balls with four boundaries and a six. Soumya Sarkar (10) and Towhid Hridoy (14) lent valuable support to Litton Das.

Since chances of Bangladesh evaporated as it failed to come anywhere near its target in 12.1 overs, all Australian hopes were then onwards hinging on Afghanistan losing the game. At the end of 13 overs, Bangladesh was 88 for seven needed 114 from 19 overs as the target was revised under the DSL because of rain-disrupting play.









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