T20 WC 2021: NZ vs AFG Review – New Zealand cruise into semi-finals with a classy chase

New Zealand

New Zealand stumbled for a while but came back as a champion team in their Super 12 match against Afghanistan. It was another clinical performance in the end as they won the game by eight wickets. As a result of this game, both Afghanistan and India have been knocked out of the World Cup, with New Zealand securing their semi-final spot along with Pakistan from group 2.

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The Kiwis were brilliant in the powerplay, restricting Afghanistan to just 23 for 3. Najibullah Zadran started a rebuilding phase with Gulbadin Naib, but the latter got out for 15. Mohammad Nabi joined Zadran as he kept trying to attack the Blackcaps. Nabi was dismissed for 14.

It was Zadran’s excellent innings that kept Afghanistan in with something of a score. He made 73 runs from 48 balls. His knock pushed their total to 124 for 8. For New Zealand, Trent Boult picked up three wickets while Tim Southee picked up two. Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne and James Neesham also got a wicket each.

With the bat, New Zealand did get another hiccup but survived through some patient and smart batting. Daryl Mitchell got 17 off 12 while Martin Guptill made 28 runs from 23 balls. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman got the wickets. But, it was the stand between Kane Williamson, who scored 40 runs from 42 balls and Devon Conway, who made 36 runs from 32  balls, which took the game away from Afghanistan. Their unbeaten stand of 68 runs got their side home with 11 balls to spare.

Top performers:

Najibullah Zadran:

The left-handed batter played a superb knock with the bat, while he witnessed all his other mates struggle to find their timing. He struck six out of the nine fours in the innings and all the three sixes. He is an excellent middle overs batter and proved his worth once again.

Trent Boult: The left-arm pacer has been one of the key members of this side and has been excellent with the ball. He has bowled with an economy of less than six in this tournament. He conceded only 17 runs in his four overs today and also took the wickets of Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran and Karim Janat. He was fantastic early on and at the death as well.


  • Najibullah Zadran’s 73 is now the highest score by an Afghanistan batter in a T20 World Cup match surpassing Mohammad Shahzad’s 68 vs Hong Kong in 2016. It was also his highest score in T20I.
  • Afghanistan’s 23 for 3 in the first six overs today is their second-lowest powerplay score in T20Is.
  • Rashid Khan became the youngest and quickest bowler to reach 400 T20 wickets. He is only the fourth bowler to reach the landmark.
  • Martin Guptill reached 8000 T20 runs.

Way ahead:

New Zealand will be facing England in the semi-final if Pakistan win their match against Scotland. If not, they will face Australia. On the other hand, Afghanistan ended their campaign with two wins from five games.