Afghanistan vs Bangladesh: Minnows breathe life into Aussie WC dream... but ...

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Published Time: 25.06.2024 - 01:01:31 Modified Time: 25.06.2024 - 01:01:31

However, should the world number nine-ranked Bangladesh chase down the total in less than 12.1 overs (assuming a full 20 overs are allocated), their net run-rate will surpass Australia’s and see them make their first ever T20 World Cup semi-finals. Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, AFG vs BAN, bangladesh vs afghanistan, ban vs afg

The Tigers got off to a red-hot start, bowling seven dots balls in the first two overs to restrict Afghanistan to 0-5.

Tanzim Hasan Sakib’s second over was unfortunately not as economical, forcing four byes with a wild bouncer before being taken aerially through the covers for four next ball – as Afghanistan gained 11 runs from it.

Openers Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz were lightning quick between the wickets, putting Bangladesh’s fielders on notice right from ball one.

Veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was introduced into the attack for the innings’ fifth over, with his left-arm orthodox not taking long to provide a chance.

With just his third ball, Ibrahim was dropped by young batter Towhid Hridoy at short cover – a chance that while extremely tough, would have gone a long way to aiding an unlikely Australian semi-finals berth, and an even more unlikely berth for Bangladesh.

And despite the missed opportunity and wicketless powerplay, Bangladesh rounded the six-over period out arguably as leaders, keeping Afghanistan to 0-27 – their lowest powerplay score for the tournament.

In the last ball of the seventh over, Gurbaz registered his side’s first maximum for the innings, coming down the wicket to Shakib’s bowling and giving Afghanistan a much-needed boundary.

“Why are you floating that one up, aren’t you just firing that one in at the pads?” former New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull said on the six.

Tanzim Hasan Sakib again dug a short ball into the pitch at pace, this time leading to five wides on top of his four byes from a similar ball in the third over – giving Afghanistan an extra leg up.

Sitting at 0-58 at the halfway mark of the innings, momentum was still very much in the balance; albeit there it was no doubt advantage Afghanistan due to their 10 wickets in hand.

Almost on cue, Rishad Hossain for 18 runs off 29 balls removed Ibrahim with a skied shot to a running long-off – breaking a threatening partnership between the Afghani opening duo.

Afghanistan scored just 22 runs between overs 10 to 15, and sat at a peculiar 1-80 with five overs to play in the innings.

“At the moment, they’re doing everything right to make that (semi-finals qualification) a possibility … they have been simply superb with their line (and) length,” Doull commented.

“Bangladesh would be thrilled it, absolutely thrilled it,” former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith added in the 16th over.