Australia beat a spirited Afghanistan by four runs in yesterday’s (November 4) ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match at the Adelaide Oval. With the narrow win, the hosts and defending champions kept alive their faint hopes of making the semi-finals of the tournament.
Australia ended their Super 12 campaign with seven points at a net run rate of -0.173. If Sri Lanka beat England in the last Group 1 match on Saturday, November 5, the Aussies will progress to the semis.
Speaking of the Australia-Afghanistan match, Rashid Khan gave a massive scare to the Aussies, clobbering 48* off 23 balls as the chasing side fell narrowly short of the 169-run target.
The game seemed done and dusted after Afghanistan were six down for 103 in the 15th over. However, Rashid’s never-say-die attitude saw him whack three fours and four sixes, giving Australia some tense moments. The fielding side eventually survived and stayed alive in the T20 World Cup.
Afghanistan lost Usman Ghani for two in their chase of 169, but Rahmanullah Gurbaz (30 off 17) gave the innings a push before he sliced Kane Richardson to mid-off. Gulbadin Naib (39 off 23) and Ibrahim Zadran (26 off 33) kept Afghan’s hopes alive with a 59-run stand for the third wicket. However, the batting side lost three wickets in the 14th over to put Australia on top.
Gulbadin was run-out by a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell, Ibrahim top-edged a sweep of Adam Zampa to short fine leg, while Najibullah Zadran (0) chipped a simple catch to long-off. Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi (one) also fell cheaply, flicking Josh Hazlewood to deep square leg. Rashid came in and played a terrific knock, but he was left with a bit too much to do.
Earlier, Australia went sent into bat after losing the toss. The hosts went into the game without skipper Aaron Finch, Mitchell Starc, and Tim David, with Matthew Wade being named as skipper. Cameron Green, coming in for Finch, fell for three, nicking Fazalhaq Farooqi to slip. David Warner seemed to be finding some form. However, he gave his wicket away for 25 off 18, attempting a premeditated switch hit against Naveen-ul-Haq.
Mitchell Marsh (45 off 30) and Maxwell (54* off 32) played the two defining knocks for Australia, which ensured they crossed the 160-mark. Marsh slammed three fours and two sixes before top-edging a sweep off Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Maxwell carried the innings on his shoulders in the second half, smacking six fours and two sixes, even as Australia kept losing wickets at the other end. He struck two crucial boundaries in the last over bowled by Farooqi to lift the team’s spirits.
Who won Man of the Match in AUS vs AFG T20 World Cup 2022 match?
Maxwell had a memorable all-round game. His sparkling half-century gave Australia a cushion of extra runs, which made a big difference in the end. Also, his run-out of Gulbadin was a game-changer. All-rounder Marsh chipped in with a handy 45. With the ball, Hazlewood and Zampa picked up two wickets apiece.
For Afghanistan, Naveen-ul-Haq claimed three scalps, while Farooqi chipped in with two. Rashid got the wicket of Marcus Stoinis and then played an extraordinary innings to give the Aussies a big scare.
Maxwell was named Player of the Match for his all-round brilliance that staved off a commendable fight from Afghanistan.