ABU DHABI: New Zealand on Sunday thrashed Afghanistan by eight wickets in the key match of ICC T20 World Cup after which India knocked out of the semi-final race and sealed its spot on final four on Sunday.
Chasing a modest 125, skipper Kane Williamson (40) and Devon Conway (36) put on an unbeaten stand of 68 to drive the team home with 11 balls to spare in Abu Dhabi.
The Kiwis joined Pakistan as the two teams in the final four from Group 2, leaving India s final match against Namibia on Monday a dead rubber.
Earlier, Trent Boult led a disciplined New Zealand attack to help restrict Afghanistan to 124 for eight in the Kiwis’ bid to seal a semi-final spot in the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.
Najibullah Zadran played a lone hand with his 48-ball 73 to give the Afghanistan total some respectability after they elected to bat first in Abu Dhabi.
Left-arm quick Boult returned figures of 3-17 from his four overs and was ably supported by Tim Southee who took two wickets.
New Zealand’s pace bowlers rattled the opposition’s top order with quick strikes as Adam Milne sent back Mohammad Shahzad caught behind for four in his first over.
Boult got going from the other end to get Hazratullah Zazai out for two and Southee trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw for six as Afghanistan slipped to 19-3.
Zadran counter-attacked with a handful of boundaries including two off Jimmy Neesham but soon took to defence after losing his partner Gulbadin Naib for 15.
Naib dragged a wide delivery from Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi onto his stumps.
Skipper Mohammad Naib joined Zadran at the crease as the duo attempted to push the scoring against the spinners and singled out Mitchell Santner for runs.
The left-handed Zadran smashed Santner for two sixes and later got to his 50 in a 33 balls. It was his second fifty in this T20 World Cup and sixth overall.
Southee broke the 59-run partnership, seeing off Nabi for 14.
Boult got the key scalp of Zadran with Neesham taking a good diving catch in the deep and the Afghans struggled to get runs in the final overs.