The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghanistan National Cricket Team makes history in T20 World Cup

Afghanistan national cricket team advanced to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup with an exciting eight-run win over Bangladesh using the Duckworth Lewis System in St Vincent. This victory, alongside India’s, secured their spot in Group 1 and eliminated Australia. Bangladesh had an opportunity to advance or send Australia home with a win, but Afghanistan dismissed them for 105 runs, securing the victory they needed. On Wednesday, this sets up Afghanistan’s first World Cup semi-final against South Africa in Trinidad. Despite being limited to a modest 115-5, Afghanistan’s hopes were revived by captain Rashid Khan’s 4-23 and Naveen-ul-Haq’s 4-26 in an impressive bowling display that secured the win. The final overs were intense, continuing well past midnight local time. Bangladesh needed to score quickly, and the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) calculations were constantly updated with each wicket and boundary, considering the possibility of further rain interruptions. Naveen sealed the victory in the second-to-last over by dismissing Taskin Ahmed and then trapping Mustafizur Rahman’s leg before wicket with consecutive deliveries. This sparked emotional celebrations among his teammates, who were moved to tears. “It’s unbelievable, I don’t have any words to describe my feelings,” said Rashid, adding definitely everyone is so, so happy for this big achievement for us being in the semi-final. “We have to push ourselves for the people back home, for their happiness, to make the country proud. So that was the discussion we had and everyone did a wonderful job,” he added. In the 12th over, there was a surprising moment when Gulbaddin Naib fell to the ground. Just before this, his coach Jonathan Trott had signaled the players to ease off and wait for a rain shower to become heavier and pause the game. Rashid, who appeared displeased with his teammate’s actions during the match, explained later that Gulbaddin was experiencing cramps. Gulbaddin took a break for a couple of overs off the field before coming back and taking the eighth wicket for Bangladesh. He dismissed Tanzim Hasan Sakib, who hit a thick top edge caught at cover. Despite their chances of advancing diminishing after rain interrupted the match in the 12th over, reducing their target to 114 runs, Bangladesh remained hopeful of securing a victory as long as Litton Das remained at the crease. The opener made valuable runs, scoring an unbeaten 54 off 49 balls with five fours and a six, but unfortunately, he lacked support from his teammates as the innings progressed. “I think we bowled really well as a bowling unit, we did a lot of good things,” said Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto. “But as a batting group, we made a lot of poor decisions, especially in the middle overs, so that cost us today,” he added. His opposite number Rashid had earlier revived Afghan hopes by tearing the heart out of the middle order after Bangladesh reached the end of the powerplay on 46-3. Rashid, his counterpart, initially revived Afghanistan’s hopes by dismantling Bangladesh’s middle order after they reached 46-3 at the end of the power play. Later, Rashid contributed to his team’s late batting surge with three sixes in a quick 19 runs off just 10 balls. His frustration was evident when he angrily threw his bat down the pitch towards his batting partner, Karim Janat, after being denied a second run in the final over. Rashid had won the toss and chose to bat first, and his outburst may have stemmed from disappointment with Afghanistan’s final score. The opening duo of Rahmanullah Gurbaz (43) and Ibrahim Zadran (18) set a solid foundation, marking their fourth half-century partnership of the tournament. Once that stand was broken for 59 in the 11th over, though, the innings meandered and finally collapsed from 84-1 to 93-5 in 11 balls before Rashid gave it a late boost. Leg spinner Rishad Hossain (3-26) did the most damage but all of the Bangladeshi bowlers performed well, serving up 66 dot balls over the innings. The men in blue eventually held their nerve to pull off one of the greatest victories in the history of the T20 World Cup and realized their greatest cricketing triumph with a place in the T20 World Cup 2024 semifinals. They will now play South Africa in just over a day in Trinidad and Tobago. Sayed Asef Fekrat

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.