T20 World Cup 2022, Match 38: Australia vs Afghanistan- Talking points and Who Said What?
Australia won the game by a close margin of four runs.
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It was a must-win game for Australia, and they managed to cruise past Afghanistan to end their Super 12 campaign on a high note, but their semi-final qualification scenario still relies on the result of the England vs Sri Lanka game. Australia put up a target of 169 runs, but could not improve their NRR as Afghanistan came very close to chasing the total. Australia can make the cut to the semi-final only if England loses their game.
Before listening to skippers of both sides, we list some of the talking points from the game
Afghanistan bowlers impress
The Afghanistan bowlers showed great intent in the first innings as they gave their best to keep the Australian batters in check. Thanks to Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi, Australia lost three wickets within the powerplay. They continued the good form during the death overs and managed to dismiss the dangerous middle-order batters and the tailenders.
Injury-prone Australia survives a scare
Australia was forced to make a few changes for their final fixture of the Super 12 stage. While skipper Aaron Finch could not play due to an injured hamstring, Tim David was benched as a result of a niggle. Another big name that missed out on the game was Mitchell Starc. Australia did not have the services of some of their key players, which hampered their game, but they managed it well.
Australia faces a challenge with their NRR
Before the start of the play, Australia had to win by a margin of 185 or more in order to surpass New Zealand’s NRR. But because they failed to even reach the 185-run mark, they had a major challenge ahead of them before the start of the second innings. In order to surpass England’s NRR, Australia had to restrict Afghanistan to a score below 106 runs. But they bagged a close-cut four-run victory. Australia still have a negative NRR, and they now completely rely on Sri Lanka’s win over England.
Rashid Khan’s madness
Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan put up a magnificent show and got his team very close to a win. Rashid Khan was on fire from the word go and notched up three fours and four huge sixes to keep Afghanistan’s hopes of winning the game alive. Australia could not take him down and he kept going till the end of the game, remaining unbeaten for 48*(23). This, notably, is his highest score in T20Is. Australia took a sigh of relief when Rashid Khan failed to connect the bat in the final few deliveries as the Men in Yellow won the game by mere four runs.
Losing captain, Mohammad Nabi said:
A really good game of cricket, they started really well, and at the end, Farooqi bowled well. The way we started in the powerplay and in the middle, but we throw away those 4 wickets in the middle under pressure. It's really tough to play a game and then don't play for 10 days. We did not get any momentum at all through this tournament. Day by day we improve and today was a fantastic game for us.
Winning captain, Matthew Wade said:
We gave Stonis the last over, to have the allrounder bowl the last over is pretty nerve-wracking. I played him in IPL and I have seen him do it 3-4 times. But never felt entirely sure at any point. We will stay here tonight and watch the game tomorrow, we will be hoping for an upset. We put ourselves in this position from the get-go, we have been slow in this tournament and hopefully, it doesn't cost us. David was very close to selection tonight and we are very hopeful they (David and Finch) will come through if we get there.
Player of the Match, Glenn Maxwell said:
Afghanistan played really well, they struck the ball really cleanly. At the start, they put us under pressure in the powerplay. We were able to hold them back but then there was some pretty clean hitting towards the back end and gave us a bit of a scare. It was nice to have an impact in the field. I knew I wasn't going to have much of an impact with the ball with the conditions they were. To have an impact is nice. During the day, it was quite slow and taking spin, it was holding up a little bit. It was quite hard to press the issue. We got to about the 12th over mark where we just had to put a total on the board to make sure we gave ourselves a chance of winning the game. Even though we were trying to go hard, they bowled extremely well in the last four overs. They executed their plans and it was hard to get away. We put ourselves in this situation, but hopefully Sri Lanka can do the job for us.