Cricket

Afghanistan Vs Papua New Guinea, T20 World Cup: AFG March Into Super 8s; NZ Knocked Out

The Afghanistan bowling attack dismissed Papua New Guinea for just 95 runs in 19.5 overs. Rashid Khan and Co then chased down the target with 29 balls to spare, to confirm their Super Eight spot at ICC T20 World Cup 2024

AP/Ramon Espinosa
Afghanistan are now on top of Group C with three wins in as many matches. Photo: AP/Ramon Espinosa
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Overcoming some batting hiccups, Afghanistan on Friday (June 14) stormed into the Super Eight stage of ICC T20 World Cup 2024 with a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad. With that, New Zealand were knocked out of the competition. (Highlights | Full Coverage | Cricket News)

The Afghan bowling attack dismissed PNG for just 95 runs in 19.5 overs. Their batters then chased down the target with 29 balls to spare, as Gulbadin Naib (49 not out off 36 balls) finished things off in style, smashing a six to take Afghanistan home.

Afghanistan are now on top of Group C with three wins from as many matches. They are tied on points with co-hosts West Indies, who had already qualified for the next stage with a 13-win over the BlackCaps.

Meanwhile, as the two teams to qualify from the group (West Indies and Afghanistan) have been decided, Uganda and PNG have also been eliminated from the World Cup and will play their remaining games for pride and experience.

The glaring folly in Papua New Guinea's batting essay was the occurrence of four run-outs. Their innings began with an elementary error by captain Assad Vala, who did not ground his bat at the non-striker's end and hence fell short. It ended with a run-out too.

In between, Fazalhaq Farooqi headlined the Afghan bowling efforts with three wickets, giving away just 16 runs off his four overs. The left-arm seamer continued his splendid run at the 2024 T20 World Cup, where he has picked up 12 wickets in three matches so far.

The Afghan chase did not begin on an auspicious note, as their trusted openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran both fell cheaply in the powerplay. But Gulbadin held firm, and joined forces with the experienced Mohammad Nabi to avoid any late drama and complete the comprehensive victory. Afghanistan players rejoiced in the joy of entering the Super 8s for the first time at T20 World Cups.

Earlier, Rashid Khan won the toss and decided to bowl first as Afghanistan went with an unchanged playing XI.

Playing XIs

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (C), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Papua New Guinea: Tony Ura, Assad Vala (C), Lega Siaka, Sese Bau, Hiri Hiri, Chad Soper, Kipling Doriga (WK), Norman Vanua, Alei Nao, John Kariko, Semo Kamea.

Afghanistan will next face West Indies in Gros Islet (West Indies) on June 17, while Papua New Guinea will meet New Zealand in Tarouba on June 17.

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