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Inspired Afghanistan stun Australia, keep World Cup semis hopes alive

:Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran shared an opening stand of 118 before Gulbadin Naib took over to drive Afghanistan to a 21-run win over Australia in St Vincent on Saturday and keep alive their hopes of reaching the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals.

A win for Australia would have sent the 2021 champions and India into the last four, but even a second hat-trick in as many matches from Pat Cummins was not enough to keep their unbeaten record at the tournament intact.

Half centuries from Gurbaz and Zadran helped the Afghans rack up 148-6 in their 20 overs, before their bowlers dismissed the Australians for 127 on a tricky Kingstown track.

Naib claimed 4-20 and Naveen-ul-Haq bagged 3-20, but it was the third century partnership of the tournament from Gurbaz and Zadran that laid the foundation for a win that also kept Bangladesh alive.

"We've waited for a long time (for this)," said man-of-the-match Naib.

"It's a big moment for our nation and our people. I have no words, but thanks to the fans who supported us in our career and cricket journey ... thank God we finally beat Australia. It's a great achievement for Afghanistan.

"We have achieved many things in the last 10 years, but this is big."

India top Group 1 on four points, ahead of Australia and Afghanistan on two, with Bangladesh alone in last place, with none.

India and Australia face off in St Lucia on Monday, while the Afghans stay in St Vincent to play Bangladesh in the final Super Eight match later that day.

Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh won the toss and sprang a couple of surprises by sending the Afghans in to bat and naming a team with left-arm spinner Ashton Agar in the bowling line-up in place of Mitchell Starc.

In the early overs it looked like the Australian

Read more on channelnewsasia.com