Afghanistan beat Australia

Afghanistan defeat Australia in T20 Super 8 clash. Photo Courtesy: ICC X page

Afghanistan pulled up a surprise 21-run victory against former champions Australia in a Super 8 match of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Saturday, giving a strong chance to qualify for the tournament’s semi-final stage.

Gulbadin Naib scalped four wickets and  Naveen-ul-Haq took three wickets to destroy the mighty Australian lineup.

After posting 148 runs for the loss of six wickets, Afghanistani pacers finished the task by bowling out Australia for 127 runs.

Glen Maxwell, who ended Afghanistan’s hope of defeating the current champions in the 50-over format by playing 200 runs superhuman innings, failed to change the fate of the match this time even after scoring 59 runs off 41 balls.

Gulbadin Naib picked up his wicket to give Afghanistan the golden chance of returning to the match.

Maxwell remained the lone fighter for the squad with the remaining lineup struggling to perform in front of a spirited Afghanistani performance.

Mitchell Marsh remained the second top scorer of the squad with 12 runs.

Afghanistan desperately needed the victory to keep their semi-final qualification chances bright.

Apart from Maxwell, Gulbadin Naib took the prized wickets of  Tim David (2), Marcus Stoinis (11) and Pat Cummins (3).

Pat Cummins took his second T20 World Cup hat-trick and Adam Zampa picked up two wickets as Australia earlier restricted the 2021 champions at 148 runs.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51) added 118 runs in the first wicket partnership to give Afghanistan a strong start in the match which both teams desperately needed to win.

Australia will next face India and will need a win to keep their chances of reach semi-finals alive.