Afghanistan stun Australia with historic win in Cricket World Cup 2023


Afghanistan pulled off a sensational upset over Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, winning by 12 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The match, which was the 39th of the tournament, saw Afghanistan’s spinners dominate the Australian batsmen, who failed to chase down a target of 292. This was Afghanistan’s first ever win over Australia in ODI cricket, and their fifth win in the World Cup, putting them in contention for a semi-final spot.

Afghanistan’s captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and opted to bat first, hoping to put a big total on the board. His decision was vindicated by a brilliant century from opener Ibrahim Zadran, who scored 129 off 143 balls, with eight fours and three sixes. He was well supported by Rahmat Shah (30), Hashmatullah Shahidi (26), Asghar Omarzai (22) and Rashid Khan (35*), who smashed three sixes in the final over. Afghanistan finished with 291 for 5 in 50 overs, their highest total against Australia in ODIs.

Australia’s chase got off to a shaky start, as they lost David Warner (8) and Steven Smith (12) cheaply to the spin of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi. Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne steadied the innings with a 72-run stand, but both fell in quick succession to Rashid Khan, who bowled with guile and accuracy. Finch made 46, while Labuschagne top-scored with 64. Australia’s middle order crumbled under the pressure of the rising run-rate, as Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad and Nabi picked up regular wickets. Glenn Maxwell (28) and Mitchell Marsh (32) tried to revive the hopes of the defending champions, but both fell in the 46th over to Noor Ahmad, who finished with 4 for 49. Australia were eventually bowled out for 279 in 48.4 overs, handing Afghanistan a historic win.


Zadran’s maiden ton sets up Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s opener Ibrahim Zadran played the innings of his life, as he scored his maiden ODI century against Australia. The 22-year-old, who had made his debut in 2019, showed great temperament and skill, as he anchored the innings and accelerated when needed. He was particularly impressive against Australia’s pace attack, as he drove, pulled and cut with confidence. He reached his fifty off 66 balls, and his hundred off 125 balls, with a boundary off Pat Cummins. He was eventually dismissed by Adam Zampa in the 45th over, but not before he had set up a platform for his team to launch a late assault.

Zadran’s century was the second by an Afghan batsman in the World Cup, after Rahmat Shah’s 102 against Sri Lanka in Chennai. It was also the highest individual score by an Afghan batsman against Australia in ODIs, surpassing Mohammad Shahzad’s 75 in 2015. Zadran’s knock earned him the player of the match award, and the admiration of the cricketing world.

Australia’s spin woes continue

Australia’s weakness against spin bowling was once again exposed, as they struggled to cope with Afghanistan’s quartet of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad. The four spinners combined to take 9 for 172 in 38.4 overs, with Rashid Khan leading the way with 3 for 38. The leg-spinner, who is ranked number one in T20Is, showed his class and variations, as he bamboozled the Australian batsmen with his googlies, sliders and flippers. He dismissed Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne and Alex Carey, three of Australia’s best players of spin, and also bowled a maiden in the 40th over, when Australia needed 13 runs per over.

The other spinners also played their part, as Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi struck early to remove David Warner and Steven Smith, while Noor Ahmad ran through the lower order with his left-arm spin. The 18-year-old, who was playing only his fifth ODI, took four wickets in his last two overs, including those of Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh, to seal the game for Afghanistan. Noor Ahmad’s figures of 4 for 49 were the best by an Afghan bowler against Australia in ODIs, and the second-best by an Afghan bowler in the World Cup, after Shapoor Zadran’s 4 for 38 against Scotland in 2015.

Afghanistan’s dream run continues

Afghanistan’s win over Australia was their fifth in the World Cup, and their third in a row, after beating England and Netherlands in their previous matches. They have now moved up to the fourth spot in the points table, with 10 points from eight matches, and have a realistic chance of making it to the semi-finals. They will face New Zealand in their last group match in Delhi, and a win there will guarantee them a place in the last four. Even if they lose, they can still qualify, depending on the results of the other matches.

Afghanistan’s performance in the World Cup has been nothing short of remarkable, considering the challenges and difficulties they have faced in the recent past. They have shown great resilience and determination, and have played with flair and passion. They have also won the hearts of the fans and the respect of the opponents, with their spirited and skillful cricket. They have proved that they belong to the elite level of the game, and have made a strong statement about their standing in global cricket.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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