By Anmol Pundir

With a glimmer of hope, 1.5 billion Indian cricket fans eyes were set on the match between Afghanistan and New Zealand and ended up disappointed as it was a comprehensive victory for Zealand by 8 wickets against Afghanistan.

Trent Boult for his outstanding bowling performance of 17 for 3 was given the man of the match award.

Mohammad Nabi after winning the toss opted to bat first, as they were confident of their
bowling and had said, “We will try our best to win”. Afghanistan batting against the most
complete bowling of the tournament failed to get runs in the powerplay. The scoreboard stood at 23 for 3 after the powerplay. Trent Boult (17/3), Tim Southee (24/2), Adam Milne (17/1), James Neesham (24/1), Ish Sodhi (13/1), were very economical except Mitchell Santner who gave 27 runs off his 2 overs.

Except Najibullah Zadran 73(48), no other Afghanistan batter could get any useful runs for their team. Zadran had hit 6 fours and 3 sixes in his innings and was solely responsible for getting a respectable score of 124 for his team.

The single match was going to decide the fate of 3 teams in the tournament, as New Zealand wanted to win the match to qualify, and Afghanistan and India were also relying on New Zealand’s defeat to have their eyes set on the next game between India and Namibia.

New Zealand chasing 125 had the start they would have been wanting from their openers, Dary Mitchell after scoring 17 off 12 balls got out, but in a target of 125, that start would have sufficed for New Zealand. Martin Guptill, after scoring 28 off 23 balls also went to the dug-out, but Skipper Williamson who is best in the business to finish matches like these along with Devon Conwayn36(32) finished the job in 18.1 overs for the Blackcaps, shattering all the hopes Indian and Afghanistan cricket fans.

India will play Namibia on November 8 but the match won’t affect the qualification scenario for the semis as New Zealand with 8 points has been promoted to semis.

New Zealand after following Pakistan’s win over Scotland will face England in Semi-final 1 on 10th November, and Pakistan will face Australia on November 11 to decide the finalists.

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