Tempers flared between Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Australia’s Marcus Stoinis during a thrilling Super 8 Group 1 match between Australia and Afghanistan at the Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, St Vincent, on Sunday, June 23.

Australia needed a win to secure a semi-final spot alongside India, but Afghanistan had different plans. Chasing a target of 149, Australia were bowled out for 127, with Afghanistan avenging their previous defeat at the 2023 World Cup in Wankhede.

Afghanistan’s historic victory was anchored by opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who scored 60 off 49 balls on a challenging pitch. His 118-run opening partnership with Ibrahim Zadran (51) was crucial in setting up Afghanistan’s win and keeping their semi-final hopes alive.

Marcus Stoinis and Rahmanullah Gurbaz Exchange Send-Off During AUS vs AFG

Frustration boiled over for Marcus Stoinis in the 16th over as the partnership flourished. After going wicketless for 15 overs, Stoinis exchanged words with Gurbaz, who responded by hitting a six over cow corner and then a double before being caught by David Warner at deep square leg. Stoinis sent Gurbaz off with a pointed gesture towards the dressing room.

In the second innings, Gurbaz returned the favor, sledging Stoinis as he walked in after Australia’s third wicket fell during the powerplay. In the 11th over, Stoinis top-edged a delivery from Gulbadin Naib, and Gurbaz took a running catch, celebrating with a massive roar.

The dismissal of the in-form Stoinis was a turning point, reducing Australia to 85/5 in 12.2 overs. Afghanistan did not let Australia bat out their 20 overs, securing a 21-run victory on the second ball of the final over.

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