ICC T20 World Cup
The Black Caps advanced to the ICC T20 World Cup semi-finals after defeating Afghanistan by eight wickets.
On Wednesday, New Zealand will take on England in Abu Dhabi, while Pakistan will take on Australia in Dubai on Thursday.
The Black Caps needed a win to guarantee their place in the World Cup semi-finals.
And, they delivered, with Trent Boult taking 3-17 and Tim Southe adding 2-24 as they defeated Afghanistan in Abu-Dhabi.
The Kiwis chased down the target in just 18.1 overs
While chasing the target, Kane Williamson (40 from 42 balls) and Devon Conway (36 from 32 balls) combined for an unbroken 68-run stand to see his side home with 11 balls remaining.
Afghanistan and India were both knocked out of contention for a Super 12 tournament berth following New Zealand’s victory over Afghanistan.
Williamson admitted that he would have preferred to bat first on a used surface.
But the fact that New Zealand bowled first did not appear to be a major disadvantage for the team, as they claimed three wickets in the powerplay.
Following some jiggling by Conway, Adam Milne (1-17) got hold of Mohammad Shahzad behind, Boult bowled Hazratullah in the next over, and Southee trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw in the sixth over, leaving Afghanistan in a state of complete collapse at 19-3.
Najibullah Zadran was essentially a one-man counterpunch for the next 13 overs, effectively ending the match, with an impressive 73 from 48 balls that included six fours and three five-wicket hauls.
Gulbadin Naib (15 points on 18 attempts) and Mohammad Nabi were Afghanistan’s only other players to reach double figures (14 points from 20 attempts).
Jimmy Neesham claimed a wicket and conceded only two runs in the final over after taking a brilliant catch off Najib.
New Zealand advanced to the semi-finals as a result of Williamson and Conway’s efforts.
Pakistani fast bowler Rashid Khan claimed his 400th T20 wicket by dismissing Martin Guptill with a googly, but Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman bowled New Zealander Daryl Mitchell (17 from 12 balls) for 17 runs (1-31).
Williamson and Conway regained control after a few quiet overs, and from the 12th to the 17th over, they hit at least one boundary per over in an attempt to extinguish any remaining Afghanistan – or India – hopes and bring the game to the verge of victory.
Australia will face Pakistan in their Semi Final encounter: ICC T20 World Cup
Australia will face Pakistan in the second semi-final in Dubai on Thursday, while New Zealand will face England in the first ICC T20 World Cup semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Australia will face England in the second semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Pakistan regained first place in Group 2 following their victory over Scotland later in the day, knocking New Zealand out of contention for second place.
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