Good runs by top order and wickets for pacers help Afghanistan register maiden win over 2012 finalists, leaving Group B of U-19 World Cup wide open
Afghanistan, electing to bat first, was all out for 253 in 49.2 overs, mainly due to three half-centuries from top-order batsmen Mohammed Mujtaba (75), Ihsanullah (63) and Hashmatullah Shaidi (57).
Their pace bowlers. Abdullah Adil (4 for 45) and Sharafuddin Ashraf (3 for 55), then took seven wickets between them to skittle out Australia for 217, leaving Group B wide open.
Australia is now left with a win or bust game against Bangladesh, the group leaders, on Wednesday. Bangladesh defeated Namibia by 52 runs at the adjoining Nursery Oval-1.
The results at the end of the second round matches has left Bangladesh on top with two wins, and Afghanistan and Australia with two points each.
Afghanistan, who suffered a 10-wicket loss to Bangladesh in its opening match, bounced back in style and will be fancying their chances of a big win over Namibia.
Mujtaba and Ihsanullah rebuilt the Afghanistan innings with a solid 126-run partnership for the second wicket after Australia had struck early by removing Usman Ghani (2) in the very first over. Shaidi came in at No. 4 and stroked the third half-century for their team to put up a challenging total despite losing eight wickets for 91 runs in under 14 overs.
Opening the bowling, Left arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf, then took two wickets in two overs to leave Australia in a bit of a spot of bother at 36 for 2 in the seventh over.
James Bazley kept Australia’s chase alive with a spectacular 54 not out off 36 balls, highlighted by four sixes and an equal number of fours, but Afghanistan kept its cool with some excellent bowling backed by ground fielding and catching to get their first points on the board.