Australia enters its last Super 12 T20 World Cup encounter looking for a net run rate-boosting victory against an Afghanistan side looking to cause an upset at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Australia, the T20 World Cup winners, are on the verge of exiting the competition when they meet Afghanistan at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. By virtue of a far lower net run rate, the host nation now sits third in Group 1 behind New Zealand and England. The focus for Aaron Finch’s players heading into Friday’s match will be on not only winning but winning big in order to overcome this disadvantage.
However, despite Australia’s efforts, their destiny is out of their hands, and Saturday’s encounter between England and Sri Lanka will determine who advances to the knockout stage from the group. Following a comfortable 42-run victory against Ireland that saw captain Aaron Finch return to form, with a player of the match winning 63 of 44, the hosts will hope that their skipper can deliver once more.
Read Also: Pakistan vs South Africa, Match 36, T20 World Cup 2022
Afghanistan, on the other hand, arrives in Adelaide with nothing to play for except pride. After two defeats and two rain-affected games, the Group 1 strugglers presently lie at the bottom of the league. Rashid Khan and the company will need their hitters to stand up to the plate if Afghanistan is to pull off an upset. Afghanistan, having yet to thrive with the bat, cannot rely only on their bowlers to carry them to success, especially when up against Australia’s elite attack.
The match on Friday will be the first T20I between the two teams, with the only prior meetings taking place in three ODIs, all of which Australia won.
Warner, who won the competition in 2021, is yet to hit his stride in this year’s edition, allowing only 19 runs in three innings. With Australia looking for a decisive victory to move ahead of England on net run rate, a quick start from Warner will be critical if they are to put pressure on their Ashes opponents.
Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s bowling talisman, will once again be crucial to his team’s hopes of victory against Australia. With teams deciding to minimize their risk against the Afghan spinner thus far, Khan has taken three wickets and will be hoping to complete his T20 World Cup campaign on a high note.