"This win is marked in history" - Mohammad Kaif's ultimate praise for Afghanistan after their win over Australia

Published - 23 Jun 2024, 06:58 PM | Updated - 23 Jun 2024, 06:59 PM

Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif. Image Credits: X

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif was all praises for Afghanistan after their memorable win over Australia at Kingstown, St. Vincent. Playing to stay alive in the competition, Afghanistan displayed tremendous grit and determination to outclass an in-form Australian team.

Afghanistan's win has opened up Group 1 now. This means that Australia needs to beat India in their last Super 8 clash in St. Lucia. Meanwhile, if India beats Australia and Afghanistan wins against Bangladesh, Afghanistan will qualify for the semifinals.

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Mohammad Kaif lauds Afghanistan after their huge win over Australia

Mohammad Kaif heaped praise on the Afghanistan team's performance through his X (formerly Twitter) handle. Kaif mentioned the last time when Afghanistan failed to close out the game in the ODI World Cup 2023 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The former India batter stated that Afghanistan's brilliant performance in the field was the difference this time around.

"This win is marked in history. Afghanistan have defeated Australia for the first time in their history. It was a close matter last time also at the Wankhede but some catches of (Glenn) Maxwell were dropped and he made a double hundred and Afghanistan lost," Kaif said in a video posted on X.

Kaif also praised Afghanistan's openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran who put together an opening partnership of 118 on a tricky pitch. He also mentioned Rashid Khan's brilliant captaincy, which involved giving the first over to Naveen-ul-Haq instead of the in-form Fazalhaq Farooqi.

"Brilliant captaincy, brilliant opening partnership by bringing in Zadran (Ibrahim) in place of Zazai (Hazratullah), did not repeat the mistakes they made against India. Zadran and Gurbaz (Rahmanullah) put up a century opening stand on a difficult pitch where the ball was moving around a lot, the ball was gripping, turning, there they put up 148 runs on the board," Kaif mentioned.

"Brilliant captaincy, the first over was given to Naveen-ul-Haq and not to Fazalhaq Farooqi because he knew that Naveen would dismiss Travis Head just like the last time in Wankhede and he did it the same way clean bowling Head with a ball that swung at a fast pace. After that Mohammad Nabi dismissed David Warner," he added.

Afghanistan stun Australia to open up Group 1

After being put into bat first on a difficult pitch where the ball was stopping and turning, Rahamanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran found it extremely tough to get going. But the duo stayed on the wicket and ran extremely hard between the wickets to move the scorecard along.

Both the openers were dismissed in quick succession but they had laid a solid platform for the middle-order batters. But unfortunately, Afghanistan's middle order couldn't fire and they were restricted to 148-6 in 20 overs. Pat Cummins took his second hat-trick in consecutive games.

Chasing a modest target to win, Australia struggled as Travis Head was dismissed in the first over itself. Australia were restricted to 32-3 as Marcus Stoinis joined Glenn Maxwell at the crease. Stoinis was dismissed by Gulbadin Naib which triggered a spectacular collapse.

Maxwell was dismissed for a well-made 41-ball-59 as Matthew Wade followed soon after. Afghanistan didn't mess it up this time around like they did in Mumbai and bundled out Australia for 127.

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ICC T20 World Cup AUS vs AFG Australia vs Afghanistan Australia National Cricket Team Afghanistan National Cricket Team Mohammad Kaif