Australia keep T20 World Cup semi-final hopes alive with win over Afghanistan
Australia were given a scare before defeating Afghanistan, but the T20 World Cup hosts will be eliminated at the Super 12s stage if England beat Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Having posted 168 for eight at Adelaide, buttressed by Glenn Maxwell’s 54 not out off 32 balls, Australia needed to keep Afghanistan to a score of 106 or fewer to get ahead of England’s net run-rate.
Even restricting their opponents to 117 or under would have meant net run-rate remained a big talking point, but Afghanistan went past both scores after a wobble before Rashid Khan threatened a huge upset.
Some destructive lower-order hitting from Rashid brought the equation down to 11 off two balls although Marcus Stoinis held his nerve to seal what might still be a priceless four-run win for Australia.
However, the T20 World Cup defending champions’ bid to reach the semi-finals hinges on Sri Lanka overcoming England, who go into the clash knowing they can win by the slimmest possible margin to finish in the top two.
For now Australia leapfrogged England into second place after moving level on seven points with New Zealand, who guaranteed their spot in the last four after beating Ireland earlier on in the day.
Everyone is susceptible – Brendon McCullum defends Ollie Pope’s nervy starts
Pope has been accused of being on edge when first arriving at the crease.
Alex Tudor backs Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum to inspire Ollie Robinson
Robinson’s fitness issues surfaced once more in Ranchi.
On this day in 2014: Graeme Smith calls time on South Africa career
The then 33-year-old opening batter called time on his international career after 347 matches.
Glenn Phillips grabs five wickets as New Zealand cling to hope
Phillips finished with figures of 5-45 as Australia were bowled out for 164.
Somerset ‘open’ to allowing rising talent Shoaib Bashir to leave on loan
Bashir was fast-tracked into the England Test squad to face India and has taken 12 wickets in two matches.
Conditions in Dharamsala set to aid James Anderson’s bid for 700 Test wickets
India have already wrapped a series victory, leading England 3-1 with one Test to go.
Big hitting and Headingley heroics – Jonny Bairstow’s best Test moments
The Yorkshireman is set to play his 100th Test next week.
Cameron Green leads the way as Australia seize control of Test
Kane Williamson run out in collision as New Zealand left trailing by 204 in first innings.
Matthew Potts targeting England recall after ‘massive step forward’ with Lions
The 25-year-old Durham seamer has taken 23 wickets in six Tests for England.
Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series
Matt Henry grabbed four wickets as Australia struggled on testing surface in Wellington.