T20 World Cup 2024: Brian Lara was the only person who took us to the semi-finals and we proved him right: Rashid

T20 World Cup 2024: Brian Lara was the only person who took us to the semi-finals and we proved him right: Rashid


Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan expresses gratitude to fans with teammates after winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 24, 2024.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan with team mates expresses gratitude to fans after winning the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 24, 2024.

West Indies great Brian Lara had predicted that Afghanistan would reach the T20 World Cup semi-finals almost a month before the start of the tournament and now that the legendary team has reached there, captain Rashid Khan said that he is proud to have proved Lara right.

Afghanistan continued its impressive run in the T20 World Cup and entered the World Cup semi-finals for the first time by defeating Bangladesh by eight runs in the final Super-8 match here.

“Brian Lara was the only person who got us to the semi-finals and we proved him right. When we met him at a reception, I told him we won't let you down,” Rashid said after the match.

He said, “I think when you get a great statement from a legend, it gives you a lot of energy as a team. We are capable.”

Lara, while interacting with editors at PTI headquarters last month, had predicted that Afghanistan would be among the semi-finalists of the major tournament.

“Afghanistan is capable of reaching the last four,” Lara had said while picking his favourite team of the tournament.

Rashid said the win over New Zealand in the group stage had given them confidence they could reach the semi-finals.

“It is a dream for us to reach the semi-finals. The way we started the tournament, beating New Zealand gave us confidence. It is unbelievable,” he said.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan (left) and Gulbadin Naib of Afghanistan celebrate winning the ICC Men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Stadium in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP)

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan (L) and Gulbadin Naib of Afghanistan celebrate winning the ICC Men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight cricket match against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Stadium in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Randy Brookes/AFP) | Photo Credit: Randy Brookes

Afghanistan, after achieving a historic win over Australia, defeated Bangladesh in the final Super 8 match to enter the semi-finals along with South Africa on 27 June.

Afghanistan were bundled out for 115/5 against Bangladesh but bowlers led by Naveen Ul Haq and Rashid gave them a thrilling eight-run win.

“We thought 130-135 would be a good score but we fell short by 15 runs. We knew they would come at us hard and we knew we could take advantage. We didn't need to do anything extra, just be clear in our plans.

Pacer Naveen and Fazalhaq Farooqui have been outstanding with the new ball throughout the campaign and Rashid couldn't be happier.

He said, “In T-20, if you get a good start then it helps us in the middle overs. They have given us a great start throughout the tournament. This makes it easier for us to put pressure on the batsmen.”

“He has done his job, his mind was very clear,” Rashid said.

Regarding the match being interrupted several times due to rain, Rashid said that they were mentally prepared to take all 10 wickets.

He said, “Rain was not in our hand but mentally we knew that we had to play 20 overs and take 10 wickets.

He said, “This was the only way we could win. But Gulbadin had some cramps. But his wicket was invaluable for us.”

The captain said that there will be a big celebration on the home ground.

“This is a big achievement for us as well. We have done this at the Under-19 level, but in this World Cup, the feeling of being at home cannot be described in words. We have to go into the semi-finals with a very clear mindset and make sure we enjoy this occasion to the fullest,” he added.

Shanto blames batsmen

Bangladesh captain Nazmul Hossain Shanto admitted that the team was once again let down by the batsmen.

He said, “We bowled really well. As a bowling unit we did a lot of good things. But as a batting unit we made some wrong decisions, especially in the middle overs.”

“Throughout the tournament we bowled really well, especially Riyaz who is the new guy who came in and bowled really well, I am very happy for him. As a batting unit we really need to improve a lot.”


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