T20 World Cup: Massive Celebration In Afghanistan As Team Qualifies For Semi-Final - Vibes Of India

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T20 World Cup: Massive Celebration In Afghanistan As Team Qualifies For Semi-Final

| Updated: June 26, 2024 12:53

Afghanistan has made history and qualified for its maiden semi-final in the T20 Cricket World Cup. This is going to be Afghanistan’s first semi-final appearance in a major international cricket event. 

An eight-run victory against Bangladesh – secured through the Duckworth-Lewis method – in the ‘Super 8s’ level of the tournament, on June 25, led to this historic result.

Earlier, on June 23, Afghanistan secured a crucial and thrilling win against Australia, which paved the way for the 50-over world champions’ ouster from the tournament. Australia on Tuesday would have needed a Bangladesh victory to reach the semi-finals.

Afghanistan will now play against South Africa in the semi-final in Trinidad on June 27. India will, incidentally, face England in the semi-final on the same day.

The team’s spirited bowling performance led them to victory despite a low total of 115-5 in 20 overs. Rashid Khan blew the Bangladeshi middle-order like a pack of cards as he picked up four wickets in his four overs. While Bangladesh’s top batter Liton Das remained not-out till the end, it was difficult for the team to script a comeback after Khan’s charge.

Naveen Ul Haq, the Afghan pacer also took four wickets. After the match, said, “These kind of wickets (pitches) are not high-scoring ones, so you are always in the game. We have worked hard for this and we are in the semis, we are very happy.”

In March 2016, the Afghanistan cricket team had faced the South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in their first ICC World Cup. While chasing 210, Afghanistan scored an unexpected 172. 

Since then, the Afghan team has had ups and downs, but have put up a spirited show, reaching a significant high in just eight years. For context, Bangladesh played their first T20 tournament in 2007 and have not yet been able to reach the semi-finals.

Afghan players do not have a home ground in their country, which is under Taliban rule. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has designated Greater Noida and Kanpur as home venues for the Afghanistan cricket team. Since 2015, Afghanistan has hosted their ‘home’ matches in Dehradun, Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium, and Greater Noida.

After the match, skipper Rashid Khan said that there are huge celebrations “back home.”

“The country is very proud. Reaching the semifinals is significant, and we need to approach it with a clear mind. We’ll keep things simple and ensure we enjoy the moment,” Khan added, according to reports.

A post on X by scholar Bilal Sarwary purports to show large crowds in Jalalabad, celebrating a rare moment of success in a nation beleaguered by upheaval, violence and torture. The Afghanistan Cricket Board handle on X has also posted emotional scenes of the players celebrating.

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