ICC Men's T20 WC'24: Afghanistan Secures Super 8 Spot, Tops PNG by 7 Wickets

ICC Men's T20 WC'24: Afghanistan Secures Super 8 Spot, Tops PNG by 7 Wickets
Afghanistan secured a convincing seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in the T20 World Cup 2024's 29th match at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad. This win propels Afghanistan into the Super 8 stage, making them the fifth team to achieve this milestone in the tournament. The West Indies will join them from Group C in the next round. Afghanistan's triumph, marking their third consecutive win, elevated them to the top of Group C standings, underlining their exceptional all-around performance against PNG.
They successfully chased down the 96-run target in only 15.1 overs, marking their fourth-largest victory in terms of balls remaining in T20 cricket. Group C's outcome saw West Indies and Afghanistan advance to the next round, while Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand were eliminated. Afghanistan, opting to bowl first, delivered an impressive performance by dismissing PNG for 95 runs in 19.5 overs, with Fazalhaq Farooqi standing out as the standout bowler.
Farooqi maintained his exceptional form in the tournament, claiming three wickets for a mere 16 runs in his four overs, bringing his total to 12 wickets across three matches. He currently leads the tournament in wickets taken. Naveen-ul-Haq contributed with two wickets, while Noor Ahmed also managed to take a wicket. In pursuit of the target, Afghanistan encountered early setbacks as they lost Ibrahim Zadran (0) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11), reaching only 22 runs within the first three overs.
Gulbadin Naib played a crucial role in stabilizing the innings, forging a partnership of 33 runs for the third wicket with Azmatullah Omarzai, who departed after scoring 13 runs in the ninth over. Naib continued his momentum, extending the partnership to 46 runs with Mohammad Nabi for the fourth wicket, guiding their team to victory. Naib finished unbeaten on 49 runs from just 36 deliveries, including four boundaries and two sixes.
"I want to congratulate the people of Afghanistan for qualifying for the Super 8, I think we've played some good cricket. I was in the IPL; unfortunately, I didn't get a game, so I came here and gave myself the strength to come and perform. I have two plans while bowling - just get wickets if there's any swing or seam, if there's no movement, I just bowl in the right areas and keep it simple. We just need to give our 100% and do our best (in the Super 8)", Fazalhaq said after being adjudged as the Player of the Match. Afghanistan will be up against West Indies in their final group match at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet in St Lucia.