T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan secure historic T20 WC semis berth, Australia out


Afghanistan sealed a famous win by 8 runs (via DLS method), in a dramatic rain-affected Super 8 encounter against Bangladesh. Australia are sent packing from the tournament, as they needed a Bangladesh win to qualify.

This will be Afghanistan’s first appearance at the semi-finals of a major ICC event. Despite Litton Das carrying the bat to the end with a battling half-century, Rashid Khan’s four-wicket haul inspired Afghanistan to victory, defending a low total.

Earlier, Rashid had also hit a 10-ball 19 run cameo with the bat, which took Afghanistan beyond the 100-run total.

In the end, Afghanistan’s modest total of 115-5 was just enough as Bangladesh were bowled out for 105 after 17.5 overs with nine runs (on the Duckworth Lewis System) needed from seven remaining balls in a heart-stopping finish to the Super Eight stage of the tournament.

Australia had been solely reliant on Bangladesh – hitherto winless in the Super Eights – upsetting Afghanistan, but outside 12.1 overs, so as not to leapfrog them into second place in Group B on net run rate. “C’mon Bangladesh,” captain Marsh quipped after Australia’s earlier loss.

Though unlikely to knock off the runs so quick, the Tigers appeared set to derail Afghan hopes as opener Litton Das (54 not out) guided them to the brink of victory chasing a revised target of 114 that would have seen Australia qualify instead of Afghanistan.

But two wickets to Naveen-ul-Haq in the 17th over settled the contest, and dashed Australia’s hopes of securing a second world T20 title.

The last few overs were played out amid high drama, as DLS calculations constantly changed with every run made and wicket taken, in case of more rain falling.

Man of the match Ul-Haq (4-26) was, along with spinner Rashid Khan (4-23), the pick of the Afghan bowlers, after Rahmanullah Gurbaz (43) had top scored with the bat.

“It’s something of a dream for us as a team,” Rashid said. “It’s all about the way we have started the tournament, the belief came when we beat New Zealand. It’s unbelievable, I don’t have the words to describe my feelings.”

The result sees Afghanistan, who beat Australia with a rousing performance earlier this week to put them on the brink of progression, move into the final four for the first time in their short Twenty20 internationals history.

They will play South Africa for a place in the final, while England and India meet in the other semi-final.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a massive celebration back home,” Rashid said. “It’s a massive achievement for us. The country will be very proud [of us], being in the semi is big for us but now we have to go in with a very clear mind.”