ABU DHABI [UAE]: Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi expressed his disappointment as his side got defeated by New Zealand in their final Group 2 encounter of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, here at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The Kiwis defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets, where Trent Boult scalped three wickets and restricted them at 124/8.
This marks the end of Afghanistan’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign along with India as they were dependent on Afghanistan’s victory in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
“It was our plan to bat first and put a decent total on the board. We didn’t start well, early wickets slowed us down, we built partnerships but didn’t finish well. We were 30 runs short on this pitch. We were eyeing 145-160, that would have been a decent total. Our bowling is strong, but we didn’t get a good total,” said the Afghanistan skipper in a post-match presentation.
“The pitch wasn’t helpful too. We tried our best and bowled really well in this game. We have a lot of experience playing in the UAE, we played good cricket and we take a lot of positives from this tournament. Hopefully, we work on our mistakes and do better in the upcoming matches,” he added.
Coming back to the match, New Zealand faced no difficulties as they slowly and steadily moved towards victory. Openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell anchored the innings but the latter was later dismissed by Mujeeb ur Rehman in the fourth over, leaving the team’s total at 26/1.
Following Daryl’s dismissal, skipper Kane Williamson took the charge alongside Guptill to steady the ship for the Blackcaps. Just when Kiwis gained control of the match, Guptill departed in the ninth over by Rashid Khan.
It was later Williamson and Devon Conway’s partnership that led New Zealand to the finishing line with 11 balls to spare.
Earlier opting to bat first, Najibullah Zadran made a determined half-century but found little support from his teammates as Afghanistan were held to 124/8.
The four New Zealand pace bowlers shared seven wickets among themselves, with Trent Boult the pick of the lot with 3/17.
With this victory, New Zealand has made their place in the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup.


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