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T20 World Cup 2021: India knocked out as New Zealand gets the better of Afghanistan by 8 wickets

New Zealand surpassed Afghanistan by eight wickets in the Super 12 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. As a result, India has been knocked out of the race for semis.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021, New Zealand vs Afghanistan, NZ vs AFG (Group 2, Super 12): Result, report, winner, India knocked out of semi-final-ayh
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Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates, First Published Nov 7, 2021, 6:45 PM IST
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It was a regular and worthy performance from New Zealand. It survived the challenge from Afghanistan and beat it by eight wickets in Group 2's Super 12 tie of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. With this, India has been officially knocked out of the race for the semis, while NZ has sealed its place in the knockouts.

LIVE SCORECARD: ICC T20 World Cup 2021 - New Zealand vs Afghanistan (Group 2, Super 12)

Winning the toss, Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi opted to bat. He made a change by bringing in spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman for Sharafuddin, while Kiwi captain Kane Williamson made no changes. The Afghans were off to a chancy start, losing openers Hazratullah Zazai (2) and Mohammad Shahzad (4), along with Rahmanullah Gurbaz (6) within the sixth over of the Powerplay.

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A 37-run partnership followed between Gulbadin Naib (15) and Najibullah Zadran (73) before the former fell played it on to spinner Ish Sodhi in the tenth. Another commendable 59-run stand ensued between Zadran and Nabi (14), as the former scored his sixth T20I half-century, while the latter was caught and bowled by pacer Tim Southee at 115 in 18th.

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Pacer Trent Boult got rid of Zadran in the 19th, four runs later, while Karim Janat (2) was dismissed in the same over at 121. Rashid Khan (3) was the final man to depart in the last ball of the innings, as the Afghans finished at a below-par total of 124/8. The Kiwis used six bowlers to scalp wickets regularly, with Boult claiming three, while he and pacer Adam Milne were highly economical.

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In reply, NZ lost Daryl Mitchell (17) early to Mujeeb in the fourth over. At the same time, fellow opener Martin Guptill (28) and Williamson (40*) contributed to a 31-run partnership for the second wicket to stabilise the Kiwi chase before spinner Rashid Khan in the ninth cleaned up the former.

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The duo of Williamson and Devon Conway (36*) took charge of the innings and pushed the Afghan bowlers onto the backfoot with some sensible batting, thus winning it by eight wickets, with 11 balls to spare. The Afghans put six bowlers into the attack, with just Mujeed and Rashid striking, while pacer Hamid Hassan was heavily economical.
Brief scores: AFG 124/8 (Zadran- 73; Boult- 3/17) lost to NZ 125/2 in 18.1 overs (Williamson- 40*, Conway- 36; Rashid- 1/27) by eight wickets.

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