Australia v England
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Australia’s chances of T20 World Cup 2022 semi-finals qualification took a nose-dive despite their recent 4-run win over Afghanistan at the Adelaide Oval on November 4, 2022. For Australia to qualify for the semi-finals, they had to win by a huge margin here against the Afghans to better their net run rate over England.

The host nation and defending champions also got this opportunity after Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and chose to bowl first, giving Australia a chance to put up a huge total on the board.

However, the defending champs had their own problems as captain Aaron Finch and big-hitter Tim David failed to get fit from their respective injuries and were replaced by Steve Smith and Cameron Green with Matthew Wade captaining the side. And then in a surprise move, Mitchell Starc was dropped for this crucial match to bring in Kane Richardson into the XI.

Glenn Maxwell. PC- Getty
Glenn Maxwell. PC- Getty

However, Afghanistan bowling kept Australian batting in check as they managed only 168/8 in 20 overs with Glenn Maxwell scoring 54* in 32 balls, while Mitchell Marsh with 45, and David Warner and Marcus Stoinis with 25 each were the other scorers. For Afghanistan, Naveen Ul Haq picked 3/21, while Fazalhaq Farooqi took two wickets.

In reply, Rahmanullah Gurbaz with 30 in 17 balls gave Afghanistan a flying start, but the Australian bowlers contained the batting with regular wickets. Ibrahim Zadran with 26 and Gulbadin Naib with 39 tried to keep up with the required run rate, but Australian bowlers made a good comeback with Adam Zampa taking 2/22 in the middle overs.

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With no hopes in site for an Afghan win, Rashid Khan swung into action and let his bat hammer the Australian bowlers to all parts of the Adelaide Oval, a ground he is familiar with thanks to it being his home ground in Big Bash League for Adelaide Strikers.

Rashid Khan. PC- Getty
Rashid Khan. PC- Getty

He swung his willow and made 48* in 23 balls and almost made the Afghan fans believe in the impossible. He hit 3 fours and 4 sixes as Afghanistan finished 164/7 and lost by just 4 runs.

Thanks to this result, New Zealand qualified for the semi-finals, becoming the first team to do so and Sri Lanka became the first team to be eliminated from the race for the semis. But for the defending champions, there are only two scenarios in which they can make it into the semis and have a chance to defend their crown.

Which are:

  1. Sri Lanka defeats England
  2. 2. Rain washes out the Sri Lanka-England match on November 5 in Sydney.

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