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Australia acid test awaits Afghanistan

By The Assam Tribune

PERTH, March 3 (AFP): Afghanistan face their toughest test of the World Cup so far when they play four-time champions Australia here tomorrow.

Afghanistan have been the �Cinderella� story of this World Cup, with their maiden win � a thrilling one-wicket victory over Scotland in Dunedin last time out � one of the highlights of the competition so far.

But the pace and bounce of the WACA pitch is unlike any surface Afghanistan have experienced before and, in such fast bowlers as Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, Australia have the attack to exploit the conditions.

Afghanistan�s last Pool A match against a Test nation saw them reduce Sri Lanka to 51 for four before Mahela Jayawardene�s hundred restored the status quo. Furthermore, the likes of fast bowler Hamid Hassan and left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran, who starred with bat and ball against Scotland, could find the WACA to their liking.

Afghanistan still have a chance of gate-crashing the quarterfinals, standing just a point behind Australia after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before beating the Scots. Yet were Afghanistan to win tomorrow it would arguably be the greatest upset in the history of one-day international cricket.

For Australia, it is the classic �no-win� situation in that anything less than a huge victory, never mind a defeat, will be regarded with dismay by their supporters. Australia need points on the board after their 111-run win over England was followed by a no-result washout against Bangladesh and last weekend�s thrilling one-wicket defeat by New Zealand.

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Australia acid test awaits Afghanistan

PERTH, March 3 (AFP): Afghanistan face their toughest test of the World Cup so far when they play four-time champions Australia here tomorrow.

Afghanistan have been the �Cinderella� story of this World Cup, with their maiden win � a thrilling one-wicket victory over Scotland in Dunedin last time out � one of the highlights of the competition so far.

But the pace and bounce of the WACA pitch is unlike any surface Afghanistan have experienced before and, in such fast bowlers as Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, Australia have the attack to exploit the conditions.

Afghanistan�s last Pool A match against a Test nation saw them reduce Sri Lanka to 51 for four before Mahela Jayawardene�s hundred restored the status quo. Furthermore, the likes of fast bowler Hamid Hassan and left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran, who starred with bat and ball against Scotland, could find the WACA to their liking.

Afghanistan still have a chance of gate-crashing the quarterfinals, standing just a point behind Australia after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before beating the Scots. Yet were Afghanistan to win tomorrow it would arguably be the greatest upset in the history of one-day international cricket.

For Australia, it is the classic �no-win� situation in that anything less than a huge victory, never mind a defeat, will be regarded with dismay by their supporters. Australia need points on the board after their 111-run win over England was followed by a no-result washout against Bangladesh and last weekend�s thrilling one-wicket defeat by New Zealand.