New Zealand advances to the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup

New Zealand clinically beat Afghanistan by eight wickets yesterday in Abu Dhabi to secure a place in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup, and eliminate pre-tournament favourites, India. 

New Zealand join Pakistan in progressing from Group 2 and meet England in a semi-final on Wednesday.

New Zealand were exceptional in the field, and held Afghanistan to 124-8. Afghanistan needed a win to maintain their own slim hopes of advancing to the semi-finals.

Najibullah Zadran hit 73 from 48 balls for Pakistan, but left-arm, fast bowler, Trent Boult took 3-17, and New Zealand’s fielders held onto three superb catches.

Although New Zealand’s openers, Daryl Mitchell fell for 17 and Martin Guptill 28, captain Kane Williamson hit a typically calm 40 not out as his team eased to victory with 11 balls to spare.

The final scores: Afghanistan 124-8 off 20 overs, New Zealand 125-2 off 18.1 overs.

India, who required an Afghanistan victory to stay in contention after defeats in their opening two games, are eliminated before their final match against Namibia today.

New Zealand will play against England in the first semi-final on Wednesday at Abu Dhabi.