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Afghanistan Thrash Australia in Historic T20 World Cup Victory

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Afghanistan Thrash Australia in Historic T20 World Cup Victory. Afghanistan stunned giants Australia and kept their T20 World Cup hopes alive with a pulsating 21-run victory in a Super 8 clash on Sunday at Kingstown, St. Vincent. This remarkable win marks the first time Afghanistan has defeated Australia in a cricket match, pulling off an upset of epic proportions.

Gulbadin Naib’s four-wicket haul was instrumental in upending Pat Cummins’ hat-trick, leading to one of the most memorable days in Afghan cricket. Utilizing slower balls effectively on a challenging batting wicket, Afghanistan defended their total of 148 for six, securing their first-ever win over Australia in international cricket.

Australia, all out for 127 in 19.2 overs, now faces the prospect of early elimination from the World Cup. To advance, they must win their match against India on Monday and hope that Afghanistan loses to Bangladesh in their next game.

Afghanistan’s openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51), forged a formidable 118-run partnership, setting a solid base for a challenging total. Despite Pat Cummins registering his second successive hat-trick across two overs, restricting Afghanistan to a manageable total, the Afghans held their ground. This result has opened up Group 1, with both Australia and Afghanistan now having one win each, while India sits atop the table with two wins from as many games.

Defending 149 on a spin-friendly wicket, Afghanistan started perfectly as Naveen-ul-Haq picked up two early wickets with the new ball, putting Australia on the back foot. Naveen first cleaned up Travis Head for a duck with a fuller delivery, then deceived skipper Mitch Marsh with a slower ball, resulting in a catch by Nabi.

Glenn Maxwell eased some pressure with two fours off Azmatullah, but Nabi quickly removed David Warner (3), who, attempting a slog sweep, found Noor Ahmad. This left Australia with the lowest Powerplay score of this World Cup at 33 for 3.

Maxwell, who had tormented Afghanistan during the ODI World Cup last year, continued to find boundaries, hitting Nangeyalia Kharote for a four and a six. However, Naib struck twice, dismissing Marcus Stoinis with a bouncer and trapping Tim David, leaving Australia at 85 for 5 in the 13th over. Maxwell tried to keep Australia’s chase on track, hitting sixes off Rashid Khan and Naib, but Naib returned to dismiss the dangerous Maxwell in the 15th over. Rashid then removed Matthew Wade, causing Australia’s chase to collapse.

Naib continued his impressive performance by knocking over Pat Cummins’ stumps, while Naveen claimed his third victim, removing Ashton Agar. Azmatullah ended the proceedings by dismissing Josh Hazlewood, sealing Afghanistan’s historic win.

Earlier, Gurbaz and Zadran notched up their third century stand of this T20 World Cup with a 118-run partnership. The duo capitalized on their chances, with Australia having to wait until the 16th over for their first breakthrough. Gurbaz hit four sixes and as many fours in his 49-ball stay, while Zadran struck six boundaries during his 48-ball knock. Stoinis eventually got rid of Gurbaz with an off-cutter, and Adam Zampa cleaned up Azmatullah Omarzai with a slider in the following over.

As Afghanistan sought big hits, they lost wickets, with Cummins dismissing Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, and Gulbadin Naib, becoming the first player to pick up two hat-tricks in T20 World Cups. Nonetheless, Afghanistan’s early efforts and strategic bowling secured a stunning victory, ensuring their World Cup journey remains alive and competitive.

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