New Zealand beat Afghanistan in their last Super 12 clash by eight wickets to enter the semi-finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. With this win, they have also knocked Afghanistan and India out of the competition.
After winning the toss, Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi opted to bat first and it did not turn out to be a good decision as Afghanistan lost four wickets quickly.
They were 56-4 after 10 overs and it appeared as if the side will be bowled out under 100 as Black Caps bowlers did not miss their length.
However, Najibullah Zadran (73 off 48) and Mohammad Nabi (14 off 20) got together and strung a 59-run stand for the fifth wicket to steady Afhanistan’s ship.
Najib played brilliant for his fifty, striking six fours and three sixes. But he did not get much support any batter down the order as Afghanistan were restricted to 124/8, thanks to a stupendous last over by James Neesham who gave just two runs and picked up a wicket as well.
New Zealand started off the chase well as Daryl Mitchell and Martin Guptill put on 26 for the first wicket. Returning to action after a layoff due to injury, Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Mitchell for 17. Guptill too was done in by a Rashid Khan special which took him to 400 wickets in T20s.
However, since then, Kane Williamson and Devon Conway played beautifully to guide the team home and into the semi-finals of the World Cup.
As a result, both India and Afghanistan have been knocked out of the tournament. India will play Namibia on 8 November to finish the tournament on a high. Had Afghanistan won against New Zealand, India vs Namibia contest would have been an exciting contest but now it has become a mere formality.
The four T20 World Cup 2021 semi-finalsts are: England (Group 1), Australia (Group 1), Pakistan (Group 2), New Zealand (Group 2).