Australia alive in the semi-final race after a thrilling win over Afghanistan

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The defending champions Australia have managed to keep themselves alive in the semi-final race after a close win over Afghanistan in the 38th match of the ICC Mens T20 World Cup 2022. Now, their hopes are dependent on Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka defeats England in the next game, Australia will go through to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is out of the tournament after this loss.

Australia inaugurated its campaign on a losing note. They lost the opening game against New Zealand by a massive margin of 89 runs, which affected their net run rate badly. They recovered quickly and won 2 games against Sri Lanka and Ireland. However, luck did not favor them as their game against England was washed out owing to incessant rain. As a result, Australia stands in this position where they are completely dependent on other teams.

Maxwell’s fiery inning set up the tone for Australia

Coming back to this game, skipper Aaron Finch missed out owing to injury, and Matthew Wade was called in to fill his shoes. The pacing unit faced a blow as Mitchell Starc was ruled out as well. Steve Smith finally got a game after a long wait. However, he failed to deliver. After losing 3 wickets for under 50 runs, Mitchell Marsh took charge and scored a crucial 45 runs. Post Marsh’s dismissal, the onus was on Maxwell to deliver and take Australia to a respectable total. And, he did just that. Maxwell scored blistering 54 runs off 32 balls. The fiery innings took Australia to a total of 168.

Rashid Khan’s heart winning fight back

Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave the perfect start to Afghanistan. He attacked Kane Richardson and scored 30 runs off just 17 deliveries. However, Kane has the last laugh as he dismissed him in the final over of the powerplay. Post that, none of the middle-order batters could sustain and threw their wickets away. Rashid Khan arrived at a nervous stage, and the asking rate was touching sky high. But he kept his nerve and attacked every bowler that came his way.

49 runs were required in the last three overs. All hopes were lost, and Australia was confident about the win. Yet, Rashid was not ready to kneel down. He swung around every delivery and tried to clear the fence. He managed to get most of them out of the park. The equation came down to 21 in the last over. Rashid Khan managed to get 16 runs and fell short of just one maximum. Despite Rashid Khan’s notable efforts, Afghanistan was knocked out of the tournament.

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