T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan storm into Super Eights, New Zealand knocked out

Afghanistan vs PNG T20 World Cup

Afghanistan Crushes PNG, Storms into T20 World Cup Super Eights!

Afghanistan T20 World Cup

In a dominant performance, Afghanistan thrashed Papua New Guinea by seven wickets to secure their place in the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup. This convincing win, achieved with 29 balls remaining, also resulted in the shocking elimination of New Zealand, runners-up in the 2021 edition, after their losses to West Indies and Afghanistan.

Mohammad Nabi T20 World Cup

The victory held a touch of poetic justice. Veteran Mohammad Nabi, now 39, stood witness as his teammate Gulbadin Naib sealed the win with a soaring six. Back in May 2008, Nabi played in the World Cricket League Division 5 final against Jersey. A stark contrast to those early days, Nabi watched from the non-striker’s end as Naib, a youngster on the fringes of that 2008 squad, cemented Afghanistan’s place among the T20 elite.

Afghanistan vs PNG T20 World Cup

Papua New Guinea entered the match with fighting spirit, having given West Indies a scare in their opening encounter. However, in Trinidad, they were their own undoing. Four costly run-outs contributed to a disappointing total of 95. While they managed to keep Afghanistan’s talismanic captain Rashid Khan wicketless, the Afghan team has evolved beyond dependence on a single player. Their pace attack, spearheaded by Fazalhaq Farooqi (3-16) and Naveen-ul-Haq (2-4), showcased exceptional skill, dismantling the PNG batting order early on.

T20 World Cup Super Eights

The tone for PNG’s struggle was set by a run-out of their captain, Assad Vala. Their batting woes continued as they slumped to 30-5 within the Powerplay overs, with Farooqi picking up two crucial wickets in quick succession. Only a valiant 27 from wicketkeeper Kiplin Doriga offered some resistance for PNG.

Afghanistan’s chase wasn’t entirely smooth sailing. Early dismissals of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave PNG a glimmer of hope. But the experienced duo of Naib and Azmatullah Omarzai steadied the ship. The arrival of Nabi further solidified their position, allowing them to chase down the target with ease.

Afghanistan Cricket News

Following the win, Rashid Khan highlighted the significance of the experience gained by him and his teammates playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). “We have a lot of players like Nabi and Gurbaz who’ve played in St. Lucia. It’s important to share that experience with the younger guys,” he said. “The key is to play your natural game in these conditions. We won’t change our style of play, but we need to adapt it to these specific circumstances.”

Based on this dominant performance, Afghanistan has sent a clear message to the competition: they are a force to be reckoned with.

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