Afghanistan shock former champs Australia

Feb 18, 2014, 07:26 IST | Gaurav Joshi

Abu Dhabi: Afghanistan humiliated the Australian by winning the group match by 36 runs leaving Australia in a cut-throat situation.

Australian tactic of rotating players to ensure each player was exposed in the World Cup could well come back to haunt them. "We wanted everyone to have an experience at the World Cup. We have strong squad and we pride ourselves on that. We also felt couple of players deserved a chance to play" said Coach Graeme Hick.

It is a bizarre tactic considering the Australian team has struggled in the tournament leading up into the World Cup as well as the warm-up matches. By now the best eleven should have been decided and given the closeness of the competition, it was expected Australia will field their best XI.

Australia face elimination to the plate knockouts if the fail to beat Bangladesh on Wednesday. But according to Hick all is not lost: "As I told the guys after the match, the only bonus is that we know what we have to do now."

Brief scores
Afghanistan 253 in 49.2 overs (Mohd Mujtaba 75, Ihsanullah 63, H Shaidi 57; Cameron Valente 3-59, James Bazley 3-69) beat Australia 217 in 48 overs (James Bazley 54 n o; Abdullah Adil 4-45)  

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