AHMEDABAD: Afghanistan men’s cricket team on Friday, has officially been knocked out of the ICC World Cup 2023 semi-final contention.
Afghanistan, who are sixth in the World Cup standings with eight points in as many matches, needed to win their last fixture against South Africa by a hefty margin of 438 runs to go past New Zealand’s superior net run-rate.
Despite failing to make it to the semi-finals, Afghanistan’s run in the ICC World Cup 2023 was a historic one.
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The nation, who had just one victory in World Cups, stunned the world in this year’s edition by triumphing against three former champions England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka while also coming close to stunning the five-time champions Australia.
Afghanistan had restricted Australia to 91/7 while defending 292, however, a sensational double-century from Glenn Maxwell, swept away their hopes of another historic victory, which would have also bolstered their position for semi-final qualification.
Their fourth victory in the ICC World Cup 2023 came against the Netherlands last Friday.
Opting to bat first, Afghanistan could only manage 244 runs despite all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai’s unbeaten 97.
The right-handed batter smashed seven boundaries and three sixes on his way to top score for the side.
But his sensational knock was not enough as Afghanistan failed to post a mammoth total on the board.
Besides Omarzai, Rahmat Shah and Noor Ahmad, who scored 26 each were the next notable run-getters for Afghanistan.
Right-arm pacer Gerald Coetzee was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa as he returned his career-best figures of 4/44 in his 10 overs while Keshav Maharaj and Lungi Ngidi bagged two wickets each.
When this story was filed South Africa were 31/0 in six overs in pursuit of a modest 245-run total.
A victory would guarantee South Africa the second spot in the standings and they will then face third-placed Australia in the second semi-final on November 16.