Press Trust of india

India ousted as New Zealand clinches semifinal spot with comprehensive win

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ABU DHABI: India were sent packing from the T20 World Cup after a clinical New Zealand clinched a facile eight-wicket triumph over Afghanistan in their final Super 12 game to claim the last available semifinal spot in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

India’s slim hopes hinged on Afghanistan upstaging the Black Caps as that would have brought the Net Run Rate into equation and opened the doors for Virat Kohli’s men, who only have themselves to blame for the ouster now.

The Kiwis were favourites to win on the day and they hardly put a foot wrong, chasing down a small target of 125 in just 18.1 overs to join England, Australia and Pakistan in the last-four stage.

Sunday’s result renders India’s final league engagement against Namibia inconsequential. The team was outplayed in its first two Super 12 matches by Pakistan and New Zealand, which proved to be its undoing.

The side did bounce back for wins over Afghanistan and Scotland but the damage done by the previous two defeats was far too much.

Kane Williamson’s men, who won four of their five Super 12 matches, will be up against either England or Australia in the semifinals.

Openers Daryl Mitchell (17), caught behind by the Mohammad Shahzad off Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Martin Guptill (28), who became Rashid Khan’s 400th wicket in T20 cricket, were the only New Zealand wickets to fall in the afternoon match.

Williamson (40 not out, 42 balls, 3 fours) looked unhurried during his knock and his half-century partnership for the third wicket with Devon Conway (36 not out) guided the team home.

They negotiated the spin threat posed by Rashid, Mujeeb and Mohammed Nabi quite well to ensure that there was no drama.

Conway got over a tentative start and hit Nabi for two boundaries in the 14th over to speed up the chase after a brief lull.

Earlier, New Zealand pacers, led by Trent Boult (3/17), dished out a clinical performance to restrict Afghanistan to 124 for 8 in their final Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here on Sunday.

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