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New Zealand march into semi-finals with clinical win over Afghanistan; India knocked out

New Zealand has qualified for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup with a clinical 8 wicket win over Afghanistan.

  • They chased down a small total of125 with captain Kane Williamson top-scoring for them with 40(42)* while Devon Conway 36(32)* and Martin Guptill 28(23) also made useful contributions.

  • Earlier, New Zealand restricted Afghanistan to 124 with Trent Boult picking up three wickets.

  • With their 4th win out of five, the Black Caps are through to the semis and knocking out India and Afghanistan in the process.



TEAM NEWS :


New Zealand has gone in with the same team that won against Namibia while Afghanistan brought in Mujeeb ur Rahman who missed out through injury in the last two games.


New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson(c), Devon Conway(w), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult


Afghanistan (Playing XI): Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad(w), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi(c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman


New Zealand blow away Afghanistan's top order


After winning the toss and opting to bat, Afghanistan had the worst possible start as their top three batsmen were back in the hut inside the powerplay. Mohammad Shahzad was the first to go, getting caught behind to Adam Milne for just 4. Boult and Southee got a wicket apiece dismissing Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz respectively.


Gulbadin Naib, who got a promotion to No.4, joined hands with Najibullah Zadran and tried to rebuild the innings. They built a decent partnership of 37 and just as it was becoming threatening, Ish Sodhi removed Naib for 14.




Najibullah Zadran carried on, hitting Southee for two sixes. He got to his fifty in just 32 deliveries as he kept Afghanistan in the game. But Zadran 73(48) and Nabi got out in quick succession and the Afghans couldn't recover. Wickets kept tumbling as Afghanistan finished with 124 for 8.


Captain Kane guides the Black Caps to victory


Chasing a low total, New Zealand got off to a good start scoring 26 from three overs. Mujeeb provided the breakthrough for Afghanistan dismissing Daryl Mitchell caught behind for 17(12).


Guptill continued to be aggressive, hitting Mujeeb for two boundaries to finish the powerplay. The kiwis were 45 for 1 at the end of the powerplay. Even though they lost Guptill in the 9th over, New Zealand was always in control.


Williamson and Conway played cautiously, not taking any risks as the asking rate was always in control. Afghanistan let a good opportunity slip as they failed to review a caught behind of Conway and the replays showed the ball hitting the bat.




After getting through the initial tough periods, both batsmen opened up. Conway struck two boundaries off Nabi and Williamson too played his shots. New Zealand got there in the end with 1.5 overs and 8 wickets to spare.


With their fourth win in this tournament, the kiwis have qualified for the semi-finals and will now take on hot favourites England. Australia and Pakistan clash in the other semi-final. Afghanistan will be disappointed with their campaign after promising so much but couldn't cause any upset in the tournament.





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