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Afghanistan Seal Dramatic Semi-Final Berth Amid Heart-Stopping Run Chase

Afghanistan Seal Dramatic Semi-Final Berth Amid Heart-Stopping Run Chase

Cricketing history was made today as Afghanistan reached the final four of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. In a thrilling match against Bangladesh, the Afghans secured a semi-final berth with a dramatic win, ending Australia’s campaign and joining India, England, and South Africa as the tournament’s remaining contenders. Here’s a detailed recap of the nail-biting encounter.**

The Match Begins: Tension in the Air

From the moment Rashid Khan won the toss and opted to bat first, you could feel the tension in the air. Afghanistan knew they needed a victory to secure their place in the semi-finals. On the very first ball, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz narrowly avoided a run-out, setting the tone for the drama that would unfold.

A Steady Start Amidst Tight Bowling

Bangladesh’s bowlers made run-scoring difficult, restricting Afghanistan to just five runs from the first two overs. However, Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran showed remarkable composure, steering the team to 27/0 at the conclusion of the Powerplay. Despite the tight bowling, the pair managed to put together a 50-run stand early in the ninth over, making history as the first pair to achieve four partnerships of at least 50 in a T20 World Cup.

Mid-Innings Drama: Wickets Fall

The breakthrough for Bangladesh came shortly after the mid-innings drinks break when Zadran was caught for 18 off 29 balls. The pressure mounted on Afghanistan as more wickets fell, with Azmatullah Omarzai and Gurbaz both dismissed in quick succession. At 99/5 with two overs to go, Afghanistan needed a hero, and Rashid Khan stepped up with a crucial cameo, hitting three sixes to propel the team to a total of 115/5 from 20 overs.

Rain Interruptions and Early Wickets

As rain interrupted play in St Vincent, anxiety levels soared for both teams and fans alike. When play resumed, Afghanistan struck early, removing Tanzid Hasan and Bangladesh’s captain within the first three overs. The match saw another rain delay, pushing the match’s time reserve to its limits.

A See-Saw Battle: Bangladesh Fight Back

Bangladesh clawed their way back to 46/3 at the six-over mark, with Litton Das and Soumya Sarkar forming a crucial partnership. However, Rashid Khan’s introduction into the attack brought immediate results, with Sarkar dismissed for 10. The Tigers needed to complete the run chase in 12.1 overs to overtake Australia and qualify for the semi-finals.

Afghanistan's Spin Magic: Rashid Khan Shines

Towhid Hridoy’s boundaries in the eighth over swung momentum back to Bangladesh, but Rashid Khan struck again, removing Hridoy and Mahmudullah in quick succession. With Khan’s figures at 17/4 off three overs, the match hung in the balance. Despite the rain making another brief appearance, the game resumed with Bangladesh needing 20 runs from the last four overs.

The Final Overs: A Dramatic Finish

 

Litton Das reached his 41-ball half-century and aimed to guide Bangladesh to victory. However, with Taskin Ahmed’s dismissal and Mustafizur Rahman’s first-ball LBW, Afghanistan sealed the win. Naveen-ul-Haq’s fourth wicket cued pandemonium as Afghanistan officially claimed their semi-final spot, leaving Bangladesh and Australia in despair.

Celebrating the Victory

Afghanistan’s victory is a testament to their resilience and determination. This win is not just a triumph on the cricket field but a significant milestone for Afghan cricket.

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