By Lee Dolbear
- Afghanistan out after brave England display
- Bangladesh so close to victory against India
- New Zealand through to semi-finals
DELHI and BENGALURU, INDIA – England survive scare in Group 1 to eliminate Afghanistan, Bangladesh nearly shock India in Group 2
Wednesday’s pulsating action in the tournament had everything and it was not for the faint-hearted.
Afghanistan at one point had England at 57/6 after Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to bat.
Drama and calamity followed, the drama provided by Afghan Mohammad Nabi (2/17) who scooped James Vince (22) and skipper Morgan (0) whilst a panicked Joe Root (12) was run out all in the same over.
The carnage would have been enough for any team to crumble further but thanks to Moeen Ali who finished 41 not out and David Willey 20 from 17 balls, England ended with a respectable 142/7, given the position they were in.
Skipper Mohammad Shahzad who had been the kamikaze kick starter for Afghanistan in previous games failed though with Willey (2/23) snaring him lbw for just 4 runs and with little contribution elsewhere barring Shafiqullah Shafiq scoring a brisk 35 off 20 balls, the Afghans fell 15 runs short and thus knocking them out of the tournament. They do however play the West Indies on Sunday and may still have a say on who ends up in the semi-finals.
After the game England’s victorious captain Morgan told Sky Sports “We came today for a win and we won. You can become unstuck if you don’t perform against Afghanistan and we did – we didn’t adapt with our batting. However, Moeen and Willey played very well and we bowled and fielded well. I thought we were outstanding with the ball in the first six, our seamers were very responsible.”
In Bengaluru India squeaked past Bangladesh in a nail biting game by the solitary run ending the Tigers’ competition. But oh, it could have been so different had they scrambled just two runs off the last 3 balls but those deliveries all produced wickets via Hardik Pandya and a run out.
Many commentators across the world were left lost for words on how the game ended but the plain fact is that India won by one run and Bangladesh, who face confirmed semi finalists New Zealand on Saturday, are out.
New Zealand made it three out of three beating Pakistan by 22 runs on Tuesday, and Monday saw Australia get off the mark with victory against Bangladesh.
The next installment of this amazing tournament is in Mohali on Friday, where Australia face Pakistan.
Bring on the unexpected, as this competition just keeps on giving!