Afghanistan’s Stunning Win Changed the Scenario of Group A for Semifinal Race

Afghanistan’s first charm in this World Cup was defeating the mighty New Zealand by 84 runs in the group stage, which led their way to the Super 8. Now, they have beaten the multiple-time champion Australia by 21 runs and created a big hope to join India in the Semi! This journey, full of wonder, clearly shows how desperately Afghanistan cricket is growing and sends a message to all the teams trying to flourish and grab a respectful position in international cricket.

With this win, the competition for the semifinal from Group A has been intense as no team has been out of the tournament yet, and each team has the opportunity to move to the next stage! The thrill every cricket enthusiast wants to witness in such a mega platform has paid off! Let’s see how Afghanistan did it and how it made any prediction so tricky!

The Magic in Brief: An Afghan Night to Remember

After sending New Zealand out of the tournament, Afghanistan was confident at the beginning of the Super 8 stage but stumbled with India in the first match. On the other hand, Australia, the current T20 World Cup champion, is the favorite as always. They had defeated Bangladesh by 28 runs (DLS method) and were looking forward to confirming the spot in the Semifinal with another dominating win against Afghanistan.

But things didn’t go as Australia, and most of the cricket fans had assumed! Winning the toss, Australia sent Afghanistan to bat first. The pitch of Arnos Vale Stadium is not so good to bat on.  Yet, Afghanistan batters found a way to score big. Their key batters, R. Gurbaz and I. Zardan, built the foundation with a 118-run partnership. However, the other batters couldn’t carry it well.

P. Cummins from Australia took three wickets, spending 28 runs only, while A. Zampa took two wickets at the expense of the same runs. Afghanistan ended up with 148 for six, which was not assumed to be a tough 0ne for Australia, even on a slow pitch, considering their batting depth.

But Australia couldn’t bat as they planned as they started losing early wickets. Afghan bowlers tried to bring the best out of a bowling-friendly pitch. Naveen-ul-Haw had three wickets in only 20 runs, and G. Naib took four wickets at the expense of the same runs. When no batter of Australia could do something convincing, G. Maxwell once again stood there, reminding his brutal knock against the same opponent in the 2023 ODI World Cup. The nightmare for Afghanistan on that day is still discussed and considered one of the best innings by any batter.

The experts and fans were also thinking of something like that when G. Maxwell carried his innings through small partnerships with D. Warner (16 of 16 balls), M. Stoinis (11 of 17 balls), T. David (14 in 11 balls) and M. Wade (21 in 14 balls). Unfortunately, no one like P. Cummins could accompany him this time, like in the ODI World Cup. Only M. Stoinis, other than G. Maxwell (59 of 41), reached the double-digit with 11 of 17 balls.

Afghanistan completed the match by taking all ten wickets of Australia and secured a 21-run win, which not only added 2 points but also helped them with good NRR.

Match Summary

Afghanistan: 148/6 in 20.00 Overs

Australia: 127/10 in 19.2 Overs

Player of the Match: G. Naib for taking four wickets for only 20 runs in 4 overs.

The Changed Scenario of Group A after Afghanistan’s Massive Showdown

When India and Australia are with Afghanistan and Bangladesh in a 4-team group, and the top two are to be selected, everyone having fair knowledge would consider India and Australia from this group. However, the calculation is much more complex now. Before getting into the probable scenarios, let’s see the group standings when each team has played exactly two matches:

PositionTeam NameMatch PlayedWinLossPointsNPR

Remaining Matches:

  • India vs Australia on 24.06.2024
  • Bangladesh vs Afghanistan on 24.06.2024

So, who will qualify for the Semifinals?

The prediction is tough to make. Yet, let’s assume some scenarios:  

  • If Australia Win against India and Bangladesh wins against Afghanistan:

With 4 points each, India and Australia will qualify for the Semifinals without any calculation of NRR.

  • If Australia wins against India and Afghanistan wins against Bangladesh:

Here, Australia, India and Afghanistan will have the same points, the two highest NRR getters will reach the Semifinal, and Bangladesh will be out.

If India wins against Australia and Bangladesh wins against Afghanistan:

India will qualify with a total of 6 points. Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Australia will have the same points with one win each. The team with the highest NRR among these three will join India in the next stage.

  • If India wins against Australia and Afghanistan wins against Bangladesh:

India and Afghanistan will qualify for the Seminal with 6 and 4 points, respectively, and NRR will not be a factor.

Thus, each team has the chance to qualify and to be eliminated simultaneously! Cricket fans are in for more drama. The final two cannot be selected until both the Australia vs. India and Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan matches end!

Final Thoughts

Brian Lara predicted Afghanistan as one of the semifinalists before this tournament began, and several experts took it as a funny one! But Afghanistan’s two big wins against two big teams (New Zealand and Australia), interestingly from the same Oceania region, have increased the possibility impressively.

The World Cup is getting close to the end, and the scenario is getting more and more thrilling, which is what every cricket fan expects. This T20 World Cup has already shown surprises like the USA eliminating Pakistan, the runner-up of the last T20 World Cup, Scotland creating a vast opportunity to destroy England, Nepal getting too close yet accepting a one-run defeat against South Africa and many more!

The game of cricket is getting globalized, and teams from lower positions in the ranking are performing amazingly. Let’s see how things go and who smiles at the end!


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