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T20 World Cup: New Zealand clinch semi-final with comprehensive victory over Afghanistan, end India’s last four hopes


India is shipping packaging of the T20 World Cup after a clinical New Zealand won an easy eight-wicket triumph over Afghanistan in their final Super 12 match to claim the last available semi-final spot in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. India’s slim hopes hung on Afghanistan raising the Black Caps as it would have compared the net run rate and opened the doors for Virat Kohli’s men, who now only have themselves to blame for the eviction. The Kiwis were favorites to win on the day and they barely put a foot wrong and chased a small target of 125 in just 18.1 overs to join England, Australia and Pakistan in the final four stages.

Sunday’s result makes India’s final league match against Namibia unimportant. The team was outscored by Pakistan and New Zealand in its first two Super 12 matches, which was apparently its accident.

The team did fight back for victories over Afghanistan and Scotland, but the damage done by the previous two defeats was far too much.

Kane Williamson’s men, who have won four of their five Super 12 matches, will face either England or Australia in the semi-finals.

Starting batsmen Daryl Mitchell (17), who was caught behind by Mohammad Shahzad of Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Martin Guptill (28), who became Rashid Khan’s 400th wicket in T20 cricket, were the only New Zealand wickets to score. the afternoon game fell.

Williamson (40 not out, 42 balls, 3 fours) looked rushed during his knockout and his half-century partnership for the third wicket with Devon Conway (36 not out) led the team home.

They negotiated the turning threat posed by Rashid, Mujeeb and Mohammed Nabi fairly well to ensure there was no drama.

Conway got a tentative start and beat Nabi for two boundaries in the 14th over to speed up the chase after a brief silence.

Earlier, New Zealand pacers, led by Trent Boult (3/17), dished out a clinical performance to limit Afghanistan to 124 for 8 in their last Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Afghanistan, who had to win to keep their semifinals alive, made the total mainly due to the efforts of Najibullah Zadran (73 off 48 balls). Zadran stood out in a rather lukewarm performance by the rest of his teammates.

He hit six fours and three sixes during his scintillating innings. The Kiwi pastry of Boult, Tim Southee (2/24) and Adam Milne (1/17) did not give up in the initial overs, as the Afghan batsmen struggled to get going and set the pace of their innings. try to enforce.

Ish Sodhi (1/13) and Jimmy Neesham (1/24) were the other New Zealand wicketkeepers. Neesham conceded just two runs from the last over of the Afghanistan innings.

Left-hander Zadran saved Afghanistan with a fifth wicket of 59 runs along with captain Mohammed Nabi (14).

The team was placed at 56 for 4 in 10 overs when the two came together and dug into their heels. However, there was very little support for Zadran from the other batsmen.

A spate of wickets after the fall of Nabi, including that of Zadran, ensured that Afghanistan did not reach a midfield score.

Boult sent Zadran and Karim Janat (2) back in the 19th over when the Kiwis took control of the game. Afghanistan started poorly and lost the openings within the first four overs.

Shahzad (4) was the first to go in the third over when his top spot flew from Milne to wicketkeeper Devon Conway, who jumped high to complete a good catch in the second attempt.

The cunning Boult hit the second shot and got Hazratullah Zazai when the batsman’s attempt to kick took the lead for an easy catch for Mitchell Santner, leaving Afghanistan at 12 for 2.

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Before long, it became 19 for 3 when Rahmanullah Gurbaz was leg ahead of Tim Southee for 6. Zadran and Gulbadin Naib (15) had a mini-recovery for Afghanistan with a 37-run partnership around the fourth wicket during which the former came up. some good shots.

However, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi broke through for the Kiwis when he had Naib slam a wide delivery on his stumps.

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