T20 World Cup: This is what we have missed in the last two years, says Afghan Rashid Khan about his epic win over Australia

Australia's Marcus Stoinis runs as Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan (right) appeals during the men's T20 World cricket match between Afghanistan and Australia at the Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 22, 2024.

Australia’s Marcus Stoinis runs as Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan (right) appeals during the men’s T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Australia at the Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, June 22, 2024. | Photo credit: AP

Praise for captain Rashid Khan Afghanistan for its “massive” victory over heavyweights from Australia at the T20 World Cup. He said that such glorious moments had been missing in recent years and attributed the victory to the large number of all-rounders available to the team.

Afghanistan recorded an increase a maiden 21-run win over Australia in their crucial Super 8 clash to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive.

“A huge win for us as a team and as a nation. A great feeling. We’ve missed that in the last two years. I’m really happy about the win and super proud of the boys,” said Rashid at the post-match presentation.

Opening batsmen Rahmanullah Gurbaz (60) and Ibrahim Zadran (51) hit half-centuries, but Australia restricted them to a manageable 148 for 6.

However, all-rounder Gulabdin Naib produced his career-best 4/20, bowling Australia out for 127 in 19.2 overs.

“140 was a good score for that wicket. We didn’t do as well as we should have.

“The opening partnership gave us the best start. We were able to defend that wicket whether it was 130 or more as long as we stayed calm and believed in it. That’s the beauty of this team: they have all-rounders and options.” Rashid was full of praise for Naib, saying, “The way Gulbadin bowled today – his experience stood the test of time today. The way Nabi started – the wicket of Warner – was also pleasing to watch.

“It’s so important for us at home and around the world. I’m sure they are proud and would have enjoyed the game.”

Finally we beat Australia! Our journey begins now: Naib

Naib, who was named man of the match, said the win was a long time coming and hoped it would start a new chapter for the team.

Afghanistan came agonisingly close to defeating Australia in last year’s ODI World Cup, but a special performance from Glenn Maxwell denied them that joy.

“We have waited for this for a long time. A great moment for me, my nation, my people. A great achievement for our sport of cricket. Thank you to our fans who support us on our cricket journey. We have worked hard for the last two months and the result is now in front of you,” he said.

“We finally beat Australia! This is a great achievement for Afghan cricket. We don’t have much experience yet, so this is a great achievement.”

“We played great cricket in the last World Cup and this year we beat New Zealand in the group stages. Our journey starts now. We have great management and I am very happy to have this team. Every game is important, we will rest and reflect tomorrow.” Australia captain Mitchell Marsh said it was just a day off at the office.

“They probably bowled 20 too many. A lot of teams bowled first in this tournament. I don’t think it was won or lost on the toss of a coin. We had a bad night on the field.

“It wasn’t the easiest wicket but both teams played on it. Like I said, we were outplayed today. We just have to win and there is no better team we could beat.”

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