New Zealand thrashes Afghanistan with a massive 8 wicket victory.
The Blackcaps wins a virtual quarterfinal against Afghanisthan in the most dominant way. They had to win this to secure their Semifinal spot as India threatened their place in the berth with an impressive Net Run Rate and a spare match against Namibia.
This means India is out of the world cup race even if they win tomorrow.
Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell opened the chase for the Blackcaps. They had a decent start till Daryl Mitchell (17 off 12 balls) was caught behind from a lethal carrom ball from Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Martin Guptill took on the Afghan bowling attack denying the presence of world-class bowlers like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Rashid Khan shattered Martin Guptill’s stumps with a brilliant googly and ended his quickfire innings of 28 runs off 23 balls.
Kane Williamson played an anchor role while Devon Conway was given the free pass to slog as he properly slogged Rashid khan and Mohammad Nabi for two big overs. His innings of 36* off 32 balls and Kane Williamson’s 40* off 42 deliveries saw New Zealand home comfortably.
Earlier in the first innings, Afghanistan started their innings like a nightmare. The restlessness and discomfort in the body language of Afghan batters were visible.
Mohammad Shahzad (4 off 11 balls) edged one off Adam Milne in a failed attempt to uppercut. Trent Boult joined the party cramping Hazratullah Zazai (2 off 4 balls) for space in a lethal bouncer.
Tim Southee trapped Rahhmanullah Gurbaz (6 off 9 balls) in a leg before wicket while he tried to score one going across the stumps. The top-order batters of Afghanistan crumbled within the batting power play with only 23 runs on the board.
Gulbadin Naib (15 0ff 18 balls) dragged a wide leggie into the stumps off Ish Sodhi only to increase the woes of Afghan fans.
Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi started to rebuild the innings after Gulbadin Naib’s exit. Najibullah Zadran smacked Mitchell Santner for 19 runs over with two sixes in it.
A beautiful partnership of 59 runs came to an end when Mohammad Nabi ( 14 off 20 balls) was caught to a stunning return catch from Tim Southee.
Kane Williamson’s defensive captaincy let the Afghan middle-order set and take in the bowlers quite comfortably.
Najibullah Zadran took full advantage of it and scored an incredible 73 runs off only 48 deliveries. His innings led Afghanistan to a somewhat total of 124 runs.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee were the top bowlers for New Zealand with 3 and 2 scalps each. Boult was judged the Player of the Match for his controlled spell.