Cricket World Cup: Afghanistan eyeing semi-final place after ‘superb rise’ with Australia up subsequent on Tuesday | Cricket Information

“Whenever you consider Afghanistan it is often unhealthy tales – Taliban, conflict, earthquakes. However that is one other superb web page within the story of the lads’s cricket group. It has been an incredible rise to prominence and this was the best night time of their historical past.”

That was how Sky Sports activities pundit Michael Atherton reacted to Afghanistan’s first-ever overcome England – and first in opposition to anybody bar Scotland at a 50-over World Cup – after they beat Jos Buttler’s defending champions by 69 runs in Delhi final month.

For Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, the victory, which adopted losses to Bangladesh and India to kick off the competitors, was simply the beginning: “This was the primary win, not the final win,” he proudly declared on the presentation. He was not flawed.

Tuesday seventh November 8:00am

Hashmatullah’s males have since crushed two extra former world champions – 1992 victors Pakistan by eight wickets and 1996 winners Sri Lanka by seven wickets – in addition to Netherlands to make it three wins on the spin and 4 in complete.

They’re firmly within the hunt for a semi-final place forward of Tuesday’s assembly with Australia in Mumbai – dwell on Sky Sports activities Cricket from 8am (8.30am first ball).

Cricket World Cup desk

Place Factors
1. India (Q) 14
2. South Africa ((Q) 12
3. Australia 10
4. New Zealand 8
5. Pakistan 8
6. Afghanistan 8
7. Sri Lanka 4
8. Netherlands 4
9. Bangladesh 2
10. England 2

Win that sport and Afghanistan shall be inside touching distance of a spot within the final 4 for the primary time. Again that up with victory over South Africa in Ahmedabad on Friday and development shall be assured. Lose each they usually may nonetheless advance on web run-rate.

It’s outstanding {that a} aspect taking part in within the lowest tier of worldwide cricket 15 years in the past, after they confronted the likes of Japan, Botswana, Bahamas and Jersey, are shining on the elite stage. {That a} aspect who by no means play at residence – and at all times fear about what’s going on at residence – are beating such established cricketing nations.

However it’s not outstanding when you think about the standard of participant they possess. Lengthy gone are the times the place leg-spin maestro Rashid Khan retains the group afloat. He’s nonetheless round – bagging seven wickets within the event, together with three in opposition to a spin-befuddled England – however now has assist, notably within the spin division.

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Highlights from Afghanistan’s seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on the Cricket World Cup, a end result that boosted their semi-final hopes

He has had that for some time in fellow former captain Mohammad Nabi, 38, who claimed two wickets along with his wily off-breaks in opposition to England and three-for versus Netherlands.

However one other off-spinner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (seven wickets in seven video games) and left-arm wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad (5 wickets in two matches) are threats as effectively.

It doesn’t solely have to be spin to win for Afghanistan nowadays, although. In right-arm fast Naveen-ul-Haq and left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi, they’ve skilful seamers, with Farooqi recording a four-wicket haul in opposition to Sri Lanka.

Naveen provides spice forward of Australia assembly

Australia pulled out of an ODI collection in opposition to Afghanistan this yr after the Taliban imposed additional restrictions on ladies’s and ladies’ rights.

Afghanistan seamer Naveen-ul-Haq wrote on social media forward of Tuesday’s encounter: “Refusing to play the bilateral collection, now it will likely be attention-grabbing to see cricket Australia stand within the World Cup #requirements #humanrights or 2 factors”

Plus, the batters have fired to a point in each sport bar the opening loss to Bangladesh and 149-run thrashing by New Zealand, after they had been rolled for 156 and 139 respectively. The profitable run chases in opposition to Pakistan and Sri Lanka had been ever so serene.

Trott provides calmness to Afghanistan’s batting

Afghanistan reached 283 versus Pakistan solely two down with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65), Ibrahim Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77no) and Hashmatullah (48no) all contributing.

They then knocked off 242 in opposition to Sri Lanka simply two down as Hashmatullah (58no) steered his aspect over the road as soon as once more, this time alongside Azmatullah Omarzai (73no), after earlier contributions from Rahmat (62) and Zadran (39) as soon as Gurbaz was banished for a four-ball duck.

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Highlights from Afghanistan’s historic eight-wicket victory over Pakistan on the Cricket World Cup

Calmness and Afghanistan’s batting haven’t at all times gone hand in hand. Sky Sports activities commentator Nasser Hussain remarking that their gamers may typically “play the shot of the day, not the innings of the day” however Jonathan Trott seems to have introduced actual composure.

Ex-England batter Trott was maybe a shocking alternative as head coach, with the gradual – if mightily efficient – approach he accrued his 2,819 ODI runs at a median 51.25 at odds with the swashbuckling approach trendy groups, together with Afghanistan, look to play white-ball cricket.

Nevertheless, Trott’s fees have misplaced none of their gusto – simply have a look at the way in which Gurbaz smoked England throughout Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi final month to the tune of 80 from 57 balls earlier than he was needlessly run out by captain Hashmatullah – however added refinement.

Hashmatullah stated of Trott after his unbeaten fifty in opposition to Sri Lanka: “Jonathan is at all times optimistic. He had a phrase with me earlier than the sport and it modified my mindset so much.”

Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan, Cricket World Cup (Associated Press)
Jonathan Trott says the ‘pennies have dropped’ for Afghanistan batters in the best way to play ODI cricket

Trott stated: “Afghanistan [players] naturally develop up taking part in much more T20 cricket than another format, so the talents for T20 are there. It is about including to the bottom of T20 expertise.

“As you see, 50-over cricket is a very long time and you’ve got to have the ability to trip the ebbs and flows of a sport. Having that kind of imaginative and prescient, realizing you can rating rapidly in direction of the again finish of video games, I feel that is the pennies we’re beginning to see drop with the gamers.”

“There is a distinction between speaking about it and truly going out and doing it. And we’re seeing gamers exit and do it now. We have spoken so much about it and labored actually arduous to attempt to obtain it, so it is good to see the gamers do effectively and have a smile on the face.”

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (Associated Press)
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has taken seven wickets within the event

The grins on Afghanistan’s gamers shall be wider nonetheless in the event that they beat Australia on Tuesday. A end result like that will add one other entry to their checklist of nice nights and push them nearer to the uncharted territory of the World Cup knockout section.

Will the superb rise proceed?

Watch Afghanistan tackle Australia dwell on Sky Sports activities Cricket and Sky Sports activities Essential Occasion from 8am on Tuesday (8.30am first ball) – or comply with textual content commentary and in-game video clips on and the Sky Sports activities App.

You can also stream the Cricket World Cup without a contract through NOW.

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