England need just a win against already eliminated Sri Lanka to progress to the T20 World Cup semi-finals as hosts and defending champions Australia struggled against Afghanistan.
Australia survived a scare by four runs against Afghanistan in their last Super 12 match in Adelaide on Friday to move into second place in Group 1, with seven points behind top-ranked New Zealand.
If England beat Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they will move up to second place with seven points and qualify for the semi-finals.
In this scenario, the three teams New Zealand, Australia and England will be tied with seven points. But the Black Caps have the best net run rate among the leading teams, so they already qualify. England will qualify as they have a better net run rate than Australia who are in the negative.
After an 89-run loss to the Kiwis in the tournament opener, the Aussies held off Afghanistan.
Glenn Maxwell’s 54-ball 54 saw Australia post 168-8 against a frenetic Afghanistan attack in a must-win game at Adelaide Oval.
Rashid Khan went unbeaten on 23 balls for 48 minutes, giving victory to the yet-to-be-beaten Afghanistan side and a tense finish for most of the crowd.
“We didn’t get a complete game,” Maxwell said.
“There were a few games during the World Cup last year where we did well. Almost in quick succession, there were clinical performances. We made the game fast and we were very sharp in all areas of the game.
“We’ve probably missed a few opportunities so far this year.”
Meanwhile, Mohammad Nabi stepped down as Afghanistan captain on Friday after the Asian nation exited the Twenty20 World Cup without a win.
After Afghanistan’s loss in the last Super 12 T20 against Australia, Nabi said he was resigning due to disagreements with the coaches.
With three losses and two games abandoned due to rain, Afghanistan finished the tournament as the only team without a win.
“Over the past year, our team’s preparation has not been up to the level a captain would want or need for a big tournament,” Nabi wrote on Twitter.
“Also, in the last few tours, the team management, selection committee and I were not on the same page, which affected the balance of the game.
“Therefore, with all due respect, I hereby announce that I am stepping down as captain and will continue to play for my country whenever the management and the team require me. »
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