After Australia failed to stop Afghanistan at the required score to qualify for the semis despite beating Afghans by 4-runs, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell hoped that Sri Lanka can do the impossible to beat England by a good margin so that the defending champions can make the semi-finals.
Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 54 from 32 deliveries followed by Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood’s brilliant spells guided Australia to a 4-run victory over Afghanistan in their Super 12 clash of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 here at Adelaide Oval on Friday.
“We got to about the 12th over mark where we just had to put a total on the board to make sure we gave ourselves a chance of winning the game. Even though we were trying to go hard, they bowled extremely well in the last four overs. They executed their plans and it was hard to get away. We’ll be following it (England vs Sri Lanka), we put ourselves in this situation, but hopefully, Sri Lanka can do the job for us,” Glenn Maxwell said in a post-match presentation.
Rashid Khan is mostly famous for his wrist spin but he has always been a handy batter. He smashed an unbeaten 48 off 23 deliveries to take Afghanistan close to the target. His knock consisted of three fours and four huge sixes gave the Afghan fans something to cheer for and guided his team to a last-over thriller.
“Afghanistan played really well, they struck the ball really cleanly. At the start, they put us under pressure in the powerplay. We were able to hold them back but then there was some pretty clean hitting towards the back end and gave us a bit of a scare,” said the Australia all-rounder.
Maxwell’s unbeaten 54 from 32 deliveries helped Australia reach a total of 168/8 in their Super 12 encounter.
“It was nice to have an impact in the field. I knew I wasn’t going to have much of an impact with the ball with the conditions they were in. To have an impact is nice. During the day, it was quite slow and taking spin, it was holding up a little bit. It was quite hard to press the issue,” Maxwell said.
Talking about the match, chasing a tricky target of 169 runs, Rashid Khan shone with bat and ball for Afghanistan as the player played a gritty unbeaten knock of 48 off 23 balls and bagged one wicket conceding 29 runs, but it was not enough to guide Afghanistan home. Gulbadin Naib played a knock of 39 off 23 while Rahmanullah Gurbaz also contributed as he scored 30 runs in 17 balls. For Australia Zampa and Hazlewood bagged two wickets each respectively.
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell led Australia to 168/8 in 20 overs while smashing 54 runs in 32 balls. Mitchell Marsh performed admirably until his innings were cut short and he left the game after scoring 45 runs. Before Marcus Stoinis was dismissed by Rashid Khan after scoring 21 runs, Maxwell and Stoinis appeared to be working well together. Earlier, after Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and decided to bowl first, Cameron Green, David Warner, and Steve Smith each lost their wickets during the powerplay. For Afghanistan Naveen-ul-Haq bagged three while Fazalhaq Farooqi scalped two wickets.