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‘The only guy…’: Why Rashid Khan expresses pride in proving Brian Lara right after Afghanistan reached T20 World Cup semi-finals | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Afghanistan secured their first-ever T20 World Cup semifinal spot by defeating Bangladesh with an eight-run win (DRS) in their final Super 8 clash of the ongoing tournament on Tuesday.
West Indian batting legend Brian Lara had predicted nearly a month before the T20 World Cup that Afghanistan would reach the semifinals, and now that the team has made it, skipper Rashid Khan expressed immense pride in proving him right.
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“The only guy who put us in the semifinals was Brian Lara and we proved him right. When we met him at a welcome party, I told him we won’t let you down,” Rashid was quoted as saying by PTI at the post-match presentation.

Rashid credited their win over New Zealand in the group stage for boosting their confidence to advance to the semifinals. “It’s a dream for us to be in the semifinals. The way we started the tournament, the belief came when we beat New Zealand. It’s unbelievable,” he recalled.
Afghanistan also achieved a historic victory over Australia before defeating Bangladesh in the final Super 8 fixture, setting up a semifinal match with South Africa on June 27.
Rashid anticipated significant celebrations back home following their achievement.

“It’s a big achievement for us as well. We have done that at U-19 level but at this World Cup, I don’t have any words to describe the feeling back home. We have to go into the semis with a very clear mind and make sure we enjoy the occasion,” he said.
The Afghanistan skipper felt that they were 15 runs short at the break.
“We thought 130-135 was a good score but we fell 15 runs short. We knew they would come hard at us, and we knew that is what we could take advantage of. We didn’t need to do anything extra, just be clear in our plans,” Rashid said.

Rashid praised pacers Naveen and Fazalhaq Farooqi have been exceptional with the new ball throughout the campaign.
“In T20s if you get a good start, it helps us in the middle overs. They have given great starts to us in the whole competition. It makes it easier for us to go harder at the batsmen,” Rashid said. “They have delivered, they were very clear in their minds.”
Despite several rain interruptions that eventually shortened the match, Rashid said the team was mentally prepared to take all 10 wickets. “Rain is something not in our hands but mentally we knew we have to play 20 overs and take 10 wickets. That’s the only way we could win. But Gulbadin had some cramps. But his wicket was invaluable to us,” he said.

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