T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan create history, beat Bangladesh to reach semi-final for first time



Arnos Vale, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, June 25 (DNA):Bangladesh’s bowlers put a dent in Afghanistan’s hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals on Monday, restricting the Afghans to 115 for five batting first in their crucial Super Eight clash in St Vincent.
Leg-spinner Rishad Hossain claimed three for 26 to lead the Bangladeshi effort on a surface where, having opted to take first strike, no-one in the Afghan top order managed to collar the varied attack.
Afghanistan can reach the last four of the tournament with a victory in Monday’s game which would also eliminate Australia.
But despite another good opening stand – 59 off 10.4 overs – Afghanistan failed to capitalise on that platform with topscorer Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s laborious 43 off 55 balls typifying the struggle to get the ball away.
Ibrahim Zadran and Azmatullah Omarzai managed to get into double-figures but the rate of scoring remained pedestrian throughout.
Seamer Taskin Ahmed, one of two changes to the Bangladesh team which lost heavily to semi-final qualifiers India in their last match two days ago, produced a superb four-over spell, conceding just 12 runs for the wicket of former captain Mohammad Nabi.
It was left to skipper Rashid Khan (19 not out) to belt three sixes – there was only one more in the entire innings – in the final two overs to help dribble the score over the 100-run mark.
Despite losses in their first two matches of the Super Eight, a huge victory for Bangladesh will earn them a semi-final spot alongside India from the group.
Beaten earlier in the day by India to be left on two points, Australia will be cheering for the Bangladeshis as a narrow win by them will see the Aussies sneaking into the last four on net run-rate.
However inclement weather could be the deciding factor with rain sweeping across the ground just as the Afghanistan innings came to an end. A no-result would take the Afghans into a semi-final showdown with South Africa on Wednesday in Trinidad.