T20 WC Thrown Wide Open As Afghans Stun Australia After India Rout Bangladesh

OB Bureau

Mumbai: Afghanistan added one more glorious chapter to their emerging cricket history by scripting a historic 21-run victory over Australia in their Super 8 clash of the T20 World Cup.

On a magical night at Kingstown, in the Caribbean island of St Vincent & Grenadines, the feisty Afghans skittled out multiple World Cup and World Test Championship winners Australia for 127 after scoring 148/6 on a bowler-friendly track.

It was Afghanistan’s first-ever victory over Australia — not just in the World Cup but in any format of the game.

Earlier on Saturday (late night Indian time), Rohit Sharma’s men posted a thumping 50-run win over Bangladesh at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya’s all-round excellence (50* off 27 balls & 1/32), backed up by brilliant spells by Kuldeep Yadav (3/19) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/13) guided India to their second big win in Super 8 stage, following a 47-run triumph over Afghanistan.

Australia were favourites to down Afghanistan, ensuring semifinal berths for themselves and India from their group.

But Afghans had other ideas. Their stunning coup has thrown Group 1 of Super 8s wide open.

India (4 points, NRR 2.425) are still in pole position, but the Aussies (2 pts, NRR 0.223) have been pushed to the brink, while the Afghan (2 pts, NRR -0.650) dream of reaching the semifinals is very much alive.

If India beat Australia and Afghanistan get the better of Bangladesh (0 point, -2.489) in the last round of Super 8 league games on Monday, it will be curtains for the Aussies.

On the other hand, if Australia overcome India and Afghans down Bangladesh, it will come down to NRR as three teams will finish on 4 points each.

India will still have their nose in front as their net run rate is much better than that of Aussies and Afghans.

OB Bureau

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