ICC T20 WC: Australia hold their nerves after Afghanistan give a scare
Australia just about managed to keep their hopes of making the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup alive with a narrow four run win over Afghanistan in their final Group 1 clash at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Australia now need to hope for Sri Lanka to beat England in the final Group 1 clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday to make the semi-final.
After being asked to bat, Australia made 168 for eight in their 20 overs and in their response Afghanistan finished on 164 for seven in their 20 overs.
Australia started off briskly in the absence of regular skipper Aaron Finch. Cameron Green opened with David Warner. Green fell early, then Warner teamed up with Mitchell Marsh. After Warner fell for 25, Marsh carried the innings together. Marsh ended on 45 off 30 balls with three boundaries and two sixes. Glenn Maxwell took charge of the innings as he added 53 runs for the fifth wicket with Marcus Stoinis. Maxwell finished unbeaten on 54 off 32 balls with six boundaries and two sixes. Towards the end Australia wickets in a clutch as they ended on 168 for eight in their 20 overs. For Afghanistan the best bowlers were Naveen-ul-Haq (3-21) and Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-29).
Australia needed to restrict Afghanistan to under 106 to keep their run-rate above England's.
In their response Rahmanullah Gurbaz started off in a brisk fashion. Gurbaz scored 30 off 17 balls. After Gurbaz fell Gulbadin Naid joined forces with Ibrahim Zadran. The pair put on 59 runs for the third wicket. But after Naib fell for 39, there was a collapse. Afghanistan went from being 99 for two to 103 for six as they lost four wickets for four runs. Towards the end Rashid Khan teamed up with Darwish Rasooli and added 45 runs for the seventh wicket. Afghanistan needed 21 runs in the final over. Khan tried very hard to seal the win but Afghanistan fell short by four runs. Afghanistan finished on 164 for seven in their 20 overs. For Australia the best bowlers were Josh Hazlewood (2-33) and Adam Zampa (2-22).
Australia: 168-8 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Cameron Green-2.1 ov), 2-48 (David Warner-5.2 ov), 3-52 (Steven Smith-5.6 ov), 4-86 (Mitchell Marsh-10.4 ov), 5-139 (Marcus Stoinis-15.3 ov), 6-155 (Matthew Wade-17.5 ov), 7-156 (Pat Cummins-18.2 ov), 8-159 (Kane Richardson-18.6 ov)
Afghanistan: 164-7 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Usman Ghani-2.3 ov), 2-40 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz-5.3 ov), 3-99 (Gulbadin Naib-13.1 ov), 4-99 (Ibrahim Zadran-13.2 ov), 5-99 (Najibullah Zadran-13.4 ov), 6-103 (Mohammad Nabi-14.3 ov), 7-148 (Darwish Rasooli-19 ov)
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Green, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (captain & wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicket-keeper), Usman Ghani, Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazal Farooqi
Toss: Afghanistan, elected to field
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Start time: 0800 hrs GMT
Match officials: Aleem Dar, Langton Rusere (On-field Umpires); Adrian Holdstock (TV Umpire); Kumar Dharmasena (Reserve Umpire); Ranjan Madugalle (Match-Referee)
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